Thursday, January 15, 2015

An Open Letter to The One Who Stole My Car

For all who do not know, my vehicle was taken from my driveway on Monday morning. I have been pretty quiet about it, simply because I haven't really known what to say and because it's an oddly personal situation. Also, it's because I'm tired of answering questions. Long story short, it was taken. 

However, it's a strange feeling to have someone come up to your house and take things that don't belong to you. It made me a bit of a crazy person on Monday morning, and it's made me even crazier to hear about how often this has happened over the past few weeks right here in Albuquerque. (It's insane that this happens so often, and we never hear about it until it happens to someone we know). 

So, the reasons for writing this post are twofold. This message is, in part, to serve as a warning to all in the area to be careful. For whatever reason, it seems to be a hush-hush thing, and I get it. I didn't really want to share with the world what had happened either, but I feel like we should all be aware. On that note, take all precautions to protect your vehicle, regardless of where you may reside. Also, should you encounter the unfortunate situation I did on Monday morning, be prepared. Have your VIN and your license plate number, along with all of your insurance/registration information, handy (perhaps in a document on your computer or in a file safely inside your house). Regardless of what information you know off-hand, this will make the hellacious process of dealing with all the reports you must make easier and quicker. 

The second point for writing this post is because, if this reaches anyone who might be considering taking things that don't belong to them, I'd like for you to reconsider and take another, more productive and less harmful avenue to make money, please. Without further ado, here is what I'd like to say to the one who chose to take my car. 

To whomever felt the need to make my vehicle their own:

You're an opportunist, I realize. And, perhaps you have some backstory that I don't know about. To be completely honest, I really don't care at this point. I don't want to know why you did what you did, or why you thought that it was okay to do so. 

I'm sure you also do not care about me or my things (clearly), but there are some things I'd like you to know. I'm sure that, by now, you've had a chance to sort through my belongings in my car. To you, they probably appear pretty simple:  a jacket, a basketball, some books, an iPod, gloves, sunglasses, a few notes and pictures, etc. However, to me, they meant something a little different. 

That jacket was my favorite. No special stories, nothing of that nature. Just plain and simple, it was my favorite. It was also a North Face, and I kind of miss it in this winter weather. 

That basketball was also my favorite. It was used in many pickup games with some of my favorite people. It was used when I needed to destress and blow off steam at the courts. Sure, I have others, and that one probably looks a little worn to you. It is, but that's because it was well loved. You see, I was given that ball by my high school coach. It was a game ball from a district game, and it was pretty special to me. 

Those books…I wrote those. They were my author copies. Read them. Maybe you'll learn something about working for things instead of taking them.

That iPod was really nothing too special, I suppose. It's several years old, and it's probably not worth much. However, I turn to music in rough times. There are playlists on there from every bad breakup, from every life change, and for specific people. It's kind of a snapshot of the life I've lived over the past few years. It's been a mainstay through the good and bad times. 

The gloves that were in my passenger seat were a Christmas gift from my mother.

The sunglasses, albeit cheap and maybe even gaudy, were a souvenir from my 25th birthday trip to Las Vegas. They're hilarious and have always been a conversation starter, as they're neon green. Nonetheless, they block the sun, and I loved them. They always made me laugh and remember the good times I had with my best friend on that trip. 

The notes and pictures…unfortunately, you've been given an up-close look at my life, my friendships, and my relationships by some of these things that were in that car. I can't help but feel violated over that aspect of the whole ordeal. It's my hope you tossed those things out somewhere instead of holding onto them or even going through them. Regardless, there's a chance you'll see the pictures of those I love: one of my dearest friends, my nieces, my brother, etc. I hadn't taken that folder of pictures inside yet. I'm pretty sure there were even a few of me as a child. Those notes...I actually didn't know were in there until the other day, but they are. The other day I discovered, there's a letter from the first one to ever break my heart that fell out of an old file folder at some point (I never got around to taking it in the house), and there's a letter I had written to a good friend that hadn't been dropped in the mail yet. Those are pieces of me, and I hate that you have them. 

I'm quite sure there were other things in there, but I can't really recall (aside from my CD collection that had been added to off and on since about 1999). All I know are the things that were the most special to me. Sure, it's stuff. Stuff can be replaced, and the memories remain. But, next time you decide to take something that doesn't belong to you, it would be really cool if you'd stop and think for a minute that, just maybe, the person you're taking it from is, in fact, a real person. Please find a shred of your humanity as you're out there, and think about the fact that you pretty much always have another option aside from taking things that don't belong to you. 

On one final note, I'd just like to let you know that the vehicle you stole was the first big purchase I ever made. When I bought it, my hands were shaking, because I was so excited and SO nervous. It was the biggest commitment I've ever made. I'd also like you to know that for the first year I had it, I smiled every time my payment statement came in the mail. It was a badge of honor for me to be able to work for and pay for something new. I hope that somewhere down the line you, too, can actually work for something for yourself and find pride in that. It's a truly exhilarating thing to grow up a bit and work hard for something you can call your own. 


The girl whose things do not belong to you

P.S. That iPod was full of fun, empowering female songs (as well as plenty of other items). I hope you feel like a legitimate badass driving around town listening to Britney Spears, Beyonce, Miranda Lambert, and Cher. Or, if you're currently stripping my beloved car for parts, turn up the iPod and let it be your background music. I'm sure it'll make you feel big and tough. Good day. 

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