Most people would be astonished to learn what my job was last summer: I was the editorial intern for Cars.com. The position may not be shocking, but the company is. Ali does not know much about cars, but I thankfully know more now than I did before last summer.

Although I am somewhat familiar with certain car models and their features, I am not one to hold an intellectual conversation with a mechanic. The jargon is like a second language I never successfully learned, and the words flow into my brain to only get tangled up like the wires underneath my hood. Hence, when my car failed to start day after day I knew it was time to learn lesson #2.

My boyfriend’s dad was my co-partner in solving the mystery. He told me where to go (Advanced Auto Parts), what to ask for (a Battery and Charging System check), and what to do based on the answer.

After visit number one to the car shop, I learned that my battery needed a charge. The mechanic told me to simply disengage the battery and to charge it on my own or bring it back into the shop. The steps didn’t seem so simple to my uninformed self. Luckily my co-partner took the battery to his work and charged it for me after demonstrating how to remove the battery and also pointing out the major parts under my car’s hood.

Once the battery was charged, the car started. All seemed well. I went back to Advanced Auto Parts, got the system checked again, and my car passed with flying colors. I even had a receipt to prove it. IMG_0700

One day later, my car failed to start (Apparently it knows how to cheat on an important exam–that, or it crammed for the test and forgot the information right after.) On my third visit to the car shop I received a happy welcome from the same young man I had help me the first two times. This time the receipt printed out a “replace battery” notice. Apparently, batteries aren’t meant to last five years…now I know.

The man helped me make a smart purchase, demonstrated how to replace the battery, and said farewell.

My car is now working.

So what did I learn? Why does it matter that my car wasn’t working? For one, I learned how to remove a battery, replace a battery, and test a battery. This is valuable information for any driver out there. My writing-based mind couldn’t be satisfied with only the concrete facts of this story, however. I needed to go metaphorical, so here it is: I learned that we all have our own batteries in life, and those batteries don’t last a lifetime. Certain parts in our life burn out, and those parts need to be renewed or replaced. Whether it is a job, a location, a relationship, or a fitness routine, it can’t last forever without maintenance or a replacement. IMG_7616 Soon enough I will be having a full re-charge. I will be moving to a new place, meeting new people, and starting a new job. My life is calling for a battery replacement. I won’t say that I’m not scared because that would be a lie, but I will say that I have faith it will all work out. Right now I hope that my life battery switches out as well as my car battery did. However, I must not forget that even that took a couple tries and a few tests along the way.

Life demands a lot of charge, a lot of maintenance, and a lot of change: this is what my car taught me this week.

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