My car is a 1994 Jeep Cherokee Laredo. It is purple with 2 small stripes along the side: one white, one pink. The front passenger side speaker is blown and any bass that comes through it sounds awful. The driver’s side window doesn’t work even close to properly and sometimes disappears inside its door. Because it is an all-wheel drive car, 4 wheel drive is constantly engaged and therefore I get approximately 13 miles to the gallon. No one could make an argument that my car is perfect, but I love it. I get in my car and things become different. The world becomes a happier, brighter place. After a year or so of driving, however, I made a discovery: It was not just my car that made me feel better, it was any car. All I have to do to get in a better mood is just hop in a car and start driving. I believe in the therapeutic nature of driving. As long as I have the music cranked to ear drum popping levels, whether it’s The Beatles, The Doors, Boston, or any other band, and as long as I’m just concentrating on the road, I am at peace. I have no explanation for it, there is no theory behind what I am saying, but when I am behind the wheel of any car, my soul is almost one with the world around me. As long as I only think of what is affecting my driving, I am spirited away from my problems of the day. It’s as if when I close that driver’s side door with the window that sometimes disappears, I am entering another world entirely where emotional problems no longer exist. The only anger I ever feel in my car is when someone cuts me off and even that has a duller edge and melts away more quickly than in our normal world. I’ve had both sour stomachs and sour moods cured by a quick trip to Meijer. I believe that with a little bit of driving, any ailment can just slip away.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.