Of Car Drives and Revelations


Noelle Natividad, Staff Writer

I’m going to tell you something and you’re going to think I’m crazy, but I’ve figured that it’s more or less alright because I’m secure enough in my own person and I suspect that I’m not the only one.

No matter where I am, where I’m going, or who I feel I am in the moment, I can hear the stars when I’m sitting in the car. It’s almost as if the universe has a direct line to me when I’m sitting in the passenger seat, listening to just the hum of the engine and the way that my breath fits into the equation.

This time, I’m thinking of the one soul-crushing, heart-pouring topic that plagues every slightly crazy teen; what I’m making of myself. It’s after those embarrassing moments in my day-to-day life that seem to imprint themselves on my mind, attributing themselves to my quirkiest of habits as I try to make the best of what I’ve got.

I’m awkward, maybe we all are in some way, but I’m learning that it’s okay. The mirage of headlights pass in a blur and for a moment I remember that my slip-up, like a moment of passing light, probably won’t be detrimental when life is made up of so many moments that serve as a convenient and purposeful do-over.

Another secret; I’m afraid of the idea of driving, of sitting in the driver’s seat, because it confirms the inevitable: everyone grows older. From time to time, it scares me. How quickly years pass when we’re not watching washes over me like a wave of nostalgia, spinning so quickly from fear to hope in an endless loop. With a driver’s permit under my belt, the thought of growing too quickly constricts my chest, because driving means going away in some sense.

You can ask anyone who knows me: I’m afraid of a lot of things and letting go has always been one of my greatest struggles. I hold this in my heart, this fear of the unknown and of becoming my own person. Again, I’m a work-in-progress and so, for now, I charge ahead, unblinking and with trepidation but determination.

I look up. The open sunroof is open to reveal the sky, the ever-changing and aging blink of starlight. The wind whips through the open space and my younger sister is singing loudly and unabashedly to whatever song plays on the radio. It’s ironic that the people younger than us can be our greatest teachers sometimes. My mom shakes her head with incredulity and amusement, and I look ahead on the way to home, listening to music, the beat of my heart, and the whisper of the stars.

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