The big yellow car of dreams

The other day I went to meet my friend Kellie at one of San Miguel de Allende’s tiny ‘pocket’ cinemas showcasing independent films. It’s one of the many things I love about this beautiful culture-filled town we have found ourselves in for a month.

As I was walking along the cobbled street leading into town, a big yellow car pulled onto the main road.

I smelled it before I saw it. Thick clouds of black diesel smoke spluttered into the clear spring air, making me cover my nose and recoil in disgust.

It puttered down the road, spitting out its polluting fumes. The engine clapped loudly, piercing through the low hum of regular afternoon activity with an attention-grabbing sound track.

My mood immediately dropped. My thoughts were interrupted and replaced by anger toward this old, loud car which looked completely out of place on the gentrified streets of San Miguel’s centro historico.

As I continued my distracted walk along the path, I noticed the angry looks on the faces of passers by. The monstrosity of noises, smells and sounds puttered along in the weekend traffic; seemingly oblivious to the disapproving stares.

Store owners emerged from doorways to observe the source of the commotion and shake their heads at the canary-yellow disturber of the peace.

I didn’t blame them.

What an annoyance on an otherwise picture perfect day!

As the car sat idling behind a shiny new Jeep, its peculiarity was even more exaggerated. I scanned its pockmarked body covered in bright yellow paint, the bumper haphazardly attached and barely holding on. It would have been quite a luxurious ride in its day.

My eyes came upon a strip of LED lights above the rear license plate, flashing in the afternoon sun like a secret invitation to the party happening inside.

It was such an anomaly on this dented old beast.

How strange, I thought as my brain tried to make sense of it.

Then, it struck me.

This ‘monstrosity’ was somebody’s dream.

They had lovingly restored her beat-up body with a bright yellow paint job. They’d spent God-only-knows how many hours reworking her engine to get her to run and installed a small strip of LED lights above the license plate; a thoughtful addition of bling on this vintage dame once left to gather cobwebs in someone’s garage.

Maybe the dream hadn’t gone completely as planned, or maybe there hadn’t even been a plan, but none of that mattered today as she took a spin on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

My heart burst with the realisation of my own limited thinking. It was such a relief to see this car for what it actually was (or could be) outside of my own narrow view of what is ‘acceptable’.

It made me wonder how many other times I have judged something or someone for not being what I think they should be, or how many dreams of others I have inadvertently overlooked or judged because it was not something I considered a ‘valuable’ pursuit.

It made me think about how quick we are to judge something against our own values, rather than attempting to see it from someone else’s and expand our perspective in the process.

Most of all, it made me so eternally grateful for dreamers everywhere who drive their big yellow cars proudly and confidently, teaching me that true individuality is something to be celebrated, rather than judged into submission.

There was no keeping this girl down though. This big yellow car of dreams was out and proud and loving every minute of her joy ride, without fear or trepidation for being different.

She was teaching us all how we should be.

“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She arrives where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.” Maya Angelou

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The big yellow car of dreams — 23 Comments

  1. This is such an important lesson, it’s so easy to judge others based on your own dreams and ambitions. We refer to life pre-travel as before we woke up, but it took me a while to realise that so many people are very content with completely different dreams and I don’t always know best! A friend of mine said to me the other day “I’m proud that this is my life” – in reference to being a homemaker and mother. Although it’s the polar opposite of my own dream, it’s fantastic that she’s happy and just goes to show how different we all are.
    Maddie recently posted..A little bit of posh in the Lake DistrictMy Profile

    • Hey Maddie! Yes, the only thing we really need to do down here is honour own own truth, which will inevitably be different from anyone else! We have so much to learn from each other and it is an exciting time to be alive to witness people waking up to their inner purpose, whatever it may be!

    • This is so true Maddie! I despise the idea of having a mortgage and a 9-5 job with the fire of a thousand suns. I’m constantly comparing my joy at travel with the misery my mortgage-laden friends and family. But then I remember, hang on. For most of them, it’s worth it. They WANT the house and the 9-5 job, even though it comes at a high price. I always have to remind myself that others should do just what they want, and I should do just what I want, and neither party should look down on each other.

      Some days that’s easier to do than others! 😀
      Karyn @ Not Done Travelling recently posted..The Mysteries Of Prasat Suor PratMy Profile

  2. I have always believed in something similar… Nothing wrong with having your own passion for an idea or an individual thought… It’s nice to have an alternative angle to an otherwise predictable out come! I have always loved old cars not just because they are old but the simplicity of them makes them special and you have to have a certain amount of passion and determination to ensure they are running well! My Orange 1974 VW Variant Type 3 turned 40 this year… Still love driving her 17 years on… G.

    • Hi Grant!!! It’s great to hear from you, something tells me you were born with this knowledge and I admire you for your individuality! And love that car!!!! :-)

  3. Judgement, I think it’s a life-long learning process for all of us. Far too easy to make that leap to judging.

    For some reason, the second I saw the title of your post, “The Big Yellow Car,” I went back in time to a classic Hollywood film, “The Yellow Rolls Royce” with an all-star cast but two of my favorites, Omar Sharif and Ingrid Bergman. The main character is the classic yellow Rolls Royce and the role the car plays in the lives of 3 story lines.
    Patti recently posted..Alfred, An Enslaved Man ~My Profile

  4. I would SO have judged the owner of that car. I would have been so horrified by the pollution they were sputtering into the air and their insolence at what they were forcing the townspeople to breathe in. I would have probably not gotten to the realization that you came to, about the car being somebody’s dream, and I would have spent the afternoon grumpy about it. hehe.

    So with my own failings in mind, I think it’s very cool that you had compassion on the person who had lovingly restored that car and let her live again, and I’m way impressed. 😀
    Karyn @ Not Done Travelling recently posted..The Mysteries Of Prasat Suor PratMy Profile

    • Ha! Yes, I think when it comes to our values we have to understand that life isn’t black and white. I think of it like, maybe the judgement itself is worse for the planet and humanity than the pollution? Something to ponder… :-)

  5. wow… so very true and, while I do think I am a generally non-discriminatory person, it is absolutely true that sometimes we all slip and fall into judgement.
    On my wall I have the quote ” People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road, doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” – S Jackson Brown Jr.
    True words indeed. Even those of us how have traveled and experienced multiple cultures and consider ourselves somewhat enlightened can forget that our dream doesn’t have to be everyone’s.
    Rhonda recently posted..Think you Know Death Valley? Think again!My Profile

    • Yes, it can be insidious. I catch myself constantly, it it so engrained in our culture to judge, for both ‘good’ and ‘bad’. It’s just good to be aware of it, I think :-)

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