When people asked “how was you thanksgiving break?”, I was not sure how to respond. So I told them my story. Not a story of woe, but just a story. Maybe it didn’t go as planned – the plan being to shred the endless pow every day. But you know, I did learn a valuable lesson – that when you know can’t control the situation, can definitely control the way you see it.
So here’s the story:
Let me be honest. I was playing hooky on my business management class that last day before a week long Thanksgiving break. It’s just that it had been 5 days since I had last been snowboarding, and I was about to have serious withdrawals. So I got in my car, blasted some dubstep, and headed towards Boreal. About three quarters of the way into the journey, as I turn left onto highway 80, I realize that the little thermometer needle is all the way past hot. Like beyond the red zone. But I’m going 60 mph up a hill. Maybe it always does that, I think. I see the exit sign, Boreal ski area: 2 miles. Ok I’m gonna make it. I can do this. Boreal ski area: ½ mile. And suddenly I couldn’t see – black smoke started pouring from the hood. Okay, I guess that’s not really normal. In a scramble for life, I came to a halt and grappled for the door and ran as far away as I could. And it was at that moment, watching my Subaru engulfed in smoke with my all my snowboarding gear inside, that I realized how little material possessions matter in this world. The emotion I remember was happiness – that I was outside on the side of the road instead of trapped inside.
And I kept thinking of the same sentence, over and over. It was like the theme of my day:
“there is no good or bad, there just is”
Over the weekend I was dying to go snowboarding. I had turned down going home for thanksgiving because I wanted to snowboard, and now I was stuck in my dorm, alone, writing this stupid blog post and going to bed at 9. I tried to bum rides off people, but everyone seemed to go home during thanksgiving break. With a huge snow storm outside, I was essentially house bound for a couple days. The mechanic originally told me it would be ready on Friday, the day after I was towed in. Then Monday. Then on Tuesday afternoon, they called and said,
“I’m afraid we can’t save it”
I couldn’t believe this had happened after only 2 months of owning my own car. People think I’m joking when I say my dream car was a Subaru outback. Not just any Subaru outback, but one of the older models, complete with dents and scratches. Those new ones are too shiny and don’t even look like dirtbag snowboarder cars. They look like rich people cars. Ew. This one was literally everything I wanted. I had even plastered the back with stickers. It was complete with a ski rack, snow tires, and even a few small dents to add character. Plus it was a stick shift - which I wanted just cause I can. I could identify a lot with it. We were both made in 1997. We were both built for the snow but had spent the first 18 years of our life in the Bay area. Finally, in 2015, we had found our true home together in the mountains and were finally living where we were truly meant to live.
So this past week I have realized that my problems really are nothing in the scope of things. Situations could always be worse. Maybe it was my fate to get injured snowboarding this week. What if the car actually did catch on fire? What if it had been totaled – along with myself – in a 95 mile per hour accident with a big rig? What if the words "I'm afraid we can't save..." Came from a doctor instead of an auto mechanic? Seriously, this really is nothing. Mainly, I learned that bad stuff happens, but bad attitudes don’t just happen. Also, your situation can always be worse.
So how was my thanksgiving break? You know I did get to ride a couple of those days, bumming rides off a few people, (One of the people I rode with had their car break down too). I made friendships now that I actually had to – gasp – talk to people when I wanted to go somewhere, and I did go to a local thanksgiving community dinner. For those dorm-bound days, I had nothing to do but plow through writing my 10 page research paper and was done with it by Wednesday, and let me just say that Sunday night Hanalei was extremely pleased with that. I’m going to learn to appreciate having a car more when I get it back. For now I’ll have to be a person with actual social skills and ask people for rides. This past week was not a bad week. I could even argue that it was a good week. But all I know is that there is no good or bad, there just is.