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Getting It: Putting it in Drive

Posted May 07 2010 11:26am

I often reference rocking out to dirty rap songs in the ‘burbs in my mom’s minivan. The reason that the musical stylings of Pitbull and Ludacris are coming from such a ridiculous vehicle is because I don’t have a car. It seems crazy to people who live in the Midwest/’burbs, because, like I said Wednesday, we loooooove driving everywhere .

When I moved to NYC in 2008, we sold my black Jeep Cherokee (oh Frank…I loved that car!). It made sense, but meant when I moved back to Michigan last summer, I was carless. On most days, this wasn’t a huge problem. Sometimes it was more of a hassle, but we always worked it out. And yes, driving around in a minivan cramped my style, but I think cars are sort of a necessary evil. Given the choice, I would rather spend my money elsewhere, so buying a car was not priority. Besides, I wasn’t in any position to buy a car. I’ve spent the past year going from struggling writer/fitness/social media chick to…slightly less struggling writer/fitness/social media chick. And that, my friends, is not an occupation you can put on a car lease application.

Now if you want to talk about cramping one’s style, living at home is worse than not having a car. I’m so grateful that I could come home and live rent-free and write a book, and in terms of sacrifices for a career, it’s way better than working at a job that causes me to have panic attacks every time my Blackberry goes off. But I’m coming up on a year of living at home and I’m starting to get a little itchy and ready to move. When your roommates are a five-year-old boy, your mom, and your grandma and they live a very different lifestyle than you do…yeah. It’s been a challenge.

The problem has been that I can’t move out without a car. And aside from needing a good “real job” to get a car, the whole idea of moving out was sending me into quarter-life crisis mode so I’ve just been avoiding it. No longer on a career path that ties me to a certain city, I can go anywhere. And sometimes, having options is the most overwhelming feeling. (Hello, how I felt in the toothpaste aisle this morning?!) So when trying to pick a location, it brought up all those big questions of career, money, relationships, and the meaning of life, I suppose, and no matter how much I thought about it, the end result was just…a whole lot of uncertainty. And while I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a periodic quarter-life crisis (we all have them — recent grads, get ready!!) the problem with my current one was that it was making me freeze. So I was using “I don’t have a car” as a way of avoiding saying, “I don’t really know what to do next.”

Long story short, I finally stopped being such a puttytat this week because I remembered that you never really know what to do next. And once I accepted that, it was easier for me to accept a car loan from the Bank of Generous Grandma.

Now, given the fact that I’m still a struggling writer/fitness/social media chick who sees cars as a necessary evil, my options were limited. But after a busy week of test drives and trips to the mechanic, I found one!

Meet Judy.

I love it, but when my mom called me from the dealership, her exact words were, “Well there’s a hideous Blazer here you could look at.” Now, “hideous” is not the right word. But it seems that when the previous owner (“Judy,” according to some paperwork we found) bought the car in 1995, she decided to pimp it out. And that meant adding running boards (!?!), the turquoise squiggle, and custom wood on the interior.

Um, what?! Yes, OK, a little hideous. It just doesn’t add up. And I can do ghettofabulous; I wasn’t so sure if I could do what sort of seemed to me like Trailer Park Chic. I imagine Judy has really big hair and acrylic nails and bedazzles everything. Like maybe I should be wearing this?

I don’t really care. The point is that even acid-washed denim fits my personality more than a minivan does. (My mom wants me to bedazzle “SHEDDINGIT.COM” on the rear window; I’m not sure if that car is something I want to really associate with the image of my blog…) The first thing I did was get an ipod adapter for the tape deck (YUP) and just celebrate that I had something with wheels to call my own.

And that leads me to the next important point…

I’m moving out of my house and moving in with Leah in Ann Arbor!


Now just FYI, Leah and I met through blogging. I had just started reading health blogs and Nutritionista was the first one that I didn’t hate (uhh…sorry, but it’s true; I had only read a small pool of blogs at this point) and after I literally went back and read every single one of her posts, I was like, “I think this girl is from Michigan!” so I e-mailed her to say I liked her blog and that I was excited to see another Midwest blogger. We started e-mailing and eventually the love-fest began! We ran the Detroit halfsie together…

And we have gotten really close in the past few months as we worked on the Outside the Box Challenge and Hollaback! We pretty much talk every five minutes now.

Leah’s been selling me on Ann Arbor for a while and I once I finally stopped seizing up with quarter-life fear, I was sold! I’m moving in July, when the most delicious, nutritious, fit existence ever will begin. Because we love so many of the same things, now we can pool our resources! That means…

  • So much good food. Lots of local stuff. So much bacon and butter. A foodgasm a day, really.
  • The ballerest home gym.
  • The most pimped-out kitchen.
  • Constant motivation to try new classes, restaurants, and cooking methods.
  • We will be going to see more comedy shows and I will be doing more stand-up.
  • Nightly blogging time and discussions on how to improve our blogs!
  • The feast will take place regularly.

As much as I love my independence, I’m really pumped to have a roommate again! I’m also excited that in a bigger city, I can really take advantage of all the wonderful things our lovely state of Michigan has to offer…because there are many! Ann Arbor has a lot of culture, and it’s pretty crunchy, which is what I’ve been missing. So we are kinda proud to be young, passionate, ambitious people who are actually choosing to stay here. It’s an exciting feeling!

So yeah…when you see a baller Blazer roll into Whole Foods this summer blasting “Pimp Juice”…you’ll know who it is!

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