Saying goodbye to my first vehicle has triggered a flare up in my lifelong battle with Peter Pan Syndrome.
At 180,000 miles and nearly 12 years, the inevitability of my vehicle reaching the point where repair costs exceeded resale value loomed. Then, yesterday, I received the news. It is time to say goodbye to my first vehicle.
Not the first vehicle I’ve ever driven. The first vehicle I purchased with my own money. The first vehicle which I paid off in full. The first vehicle that included 180,000 miles of memories including my then fiancee, now wife as passenger, a commute to three jobs, a transport of animals to and fro, a silent sanctuary across stretches of highway as over a decade of my life sped by.
And so the flare up has begun. It is once again infecting my brain. “This is one of the last pieces of a life you once knew,” it says. “A life when things were simpler. Before serious injury, before significant losses, before transitions in employment that would forever change how you view and trust people.” It pulses through every neural pathway, electric jolts of contemplation and emotion.
Peter Pan Syndrome (PPS) is real. My PPS type, though, doesn’t involve just the flights of fancy that allow one to maintain a child-like mind. Working with young adults for a living, I am thankful for those side-effects the syndrome brings. My PPS type primarily involves flares of regret, indecision, enmity toward aging, and the deep-seated longing to return to what, in my mind, was a simpler time of my youth.
I’m long past the opportunity for vaccination, although the irony of PPS is a strong desire to return to a time when vaccination would be possible. I’m in need of a cure. A new vehicle, a new material possession will not suffice. Pills or mind-altering substances also will only stave off symptoms, not reach the desired cure.
I must find a cure within. A way for Peter Pan to coexist with my present self. For if I don’t, the next 180,000 miles and 12 years of my life will be a decline into madness. I cannot allow that to become …
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