Just wanted to share a little story with you. The picture above is the very first car I owned, at the young "tender" age of 18, I paid $12,000 cash for a convertible mustang because that has always been my dream car...at age 14 or 15 I would always picture me driving down Crenshaw with some amazing speakers in my car, bumping my music with the top down , driving through Malibu with my hair blowing in the wind, riding up and down Melrose with my friends, meeting my friends for lunch (you know typically teen ish') lol...I was in a car club so that's why those stickers are on the car, it was a car club called "Doin Too Much. Have you ever seen the movie "Boyz n the Hood" and everyone was in their cars hanging on Crenshaw in Los Angeles, that's exactly what we did every weekend hahahaha!
Anyhow, I kept the mustang for almost 2 years, fully paid off but insurance was high as hell, I was 18 years old, driving a sports car....nobody warned me. I believe I was paying $500 a month just for insurance. What was I thinking?🤦🏻♀️ So you ask, where did an 18 year old get that kind of money? My mother was in a horrible car accident when she was 6 months pregnant with me, she was rushed to the hospital and the doctors gave her her two options, "Annie, you will need to deliver the baby now and she'll need to stay in NICU for a couple of months, or you can go full term but there is an 80-90% chance the baby will not survive due to all the damage". My mom decided to deliver me at 6 months.....yes, I was a preemie and spent months in the hospital with tubes all over my body to help me breath and eat. My mother used some of the settlement money she received from the car accident and started a trust fund for me that would be payable to me at the age of 18. When I turned 18 I had no idea where my mother was or how to locate her, my mother has been incarcerated most of my adolescent life. The only thing I could find was an account number, the name of the bank and a bank statement from 1989 that my grandmother some how had in an old box in her room. I had to go through hoops & hurdles to retrieve the funds because the bank kept telling me my mother needed to be present. After going back and forth to court , having to provide all types of proof of ID and going to numerous Bank of America's and them saying, "your mother need to be here to sign the forms", they finally released the money to me. For some reason they wouldn't give it to me in the form of a check so they literally gave me $26,000 in cash money...yes CASH in a bag. I was nervous as hell walking out of the bank with a backpack full of cash. I immediately went to my bank, put money into two CD's and the remaining balance in my personal account. I had no type of guidance from anyone to give me advice on what to do with the money.....again, I was young and dumb. I took $12k to purchase a car in cash (the white convertible mustang), I was a high school senior at the time and I had to pay for everything on my own for my prom, my graduation, senior dues, pictures, homecoming, car insurance, gas, etc.....right after graduating I was kicked out of the home I was living in. After paying for all things related to my senior year, eating, getting back & forth to work, paying for different hotels to stay in or with a friend, I ended up blowing through about $20k in 9 months, Smh. Right before my 19th birthday I was finally approved for a 1 bedroom, paid the move in deposit and the rest of this settlement money went towards my rent, utilities, food, furniture, car insurance....let's just say the rest of the money was gone within 3 months. This was back in 1998, I was only making about $8.00 at that time. Let's just say I probably made some dumb decisions. No parental guidance, but we live & we learn and I did this best I knew how. 🤷🏻♀️🤷🏻♀️ Anyway, let's move on..... Right after turning 20 I found out I was pregnant, I definitely was not ready for a child that young, was having some complications and the doctor informed me that if I didn't go through with this pregnancy, there was a high possibility that I may not ever be able to carry children (that was a damn lie). I always knew I wanted children (after marriage of course) but that wasn't God's plan at the time, so I decided to go through with the pregnancy. I began having terrible morning sickness immediately, I felt horrible every day, couldn't keep any food down...it drained the life out of me. Well, knowing I was bringing a new child into the world, I just knew this Mustang that only held 2 people comfortably would not work with car seats, strollers, an infant, toddler or any kid. I decided to sell it, I was able to get $8,000 cash for it. Went to the Jeep dealership with that $8,000 in January of 1999 and decided to purchase a brand new 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited edition with all the bells and whistles (pictured below)......yes, I was 20 years with no adult guidance, on a dealership lot, by myself purchasing a $42,000 SUV, I didn't know what I was getting myself into 🤣🤣🤣. I had my own apartment I had to pay rent for, I had gas and electric bills and a baby on the way. I was purchasing this vehicle for my unborn child (so I thought) . About 3 weeks after buying the car I was miscarrying and had to have a D&C (if you don't know what that is Google it).
I was a little heartbroken because I had this SUV that I only wanted because I knew I was having a child and because I didn't think I would be able to carry a child. Thankfully at this time I had a pretty decent job and could afford it so I kept it, but the mustang was Perfectly fine for just little ole me. Back then you didn't know too many 20 year olds making $55k a year, I thought I was doing big things until those bills slid through every month saying, "Dianisha, sit your ass down somewhere, you don't got it like that, you got bills"🤣 About 4 to 5 weeks weeks after miscarrying and having the procedure I took another pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant a second time (with Jahreel, my now 20 year old son) and yes I was pregnant by the same person lol. I was not a promiscuous young lady (just in case you were wondering LOL). Anyhow, having the car all worked out in the end. I kept the car for about 7 years, paid it off in full in 4 years (Fun fact: I've always had a car since I was 17/18 and never had a car get repossessed). Paying my bills on time was the one thing I did do right as a young adult.
The car still looked good, I have tons of memories of this car, the people in this car, the trips this car took me on, the accidents it's been in...man, you have no idea the stuff this jeep has endured. When I met my now husband in 2006 that following year (2007) I decided to put those memories on the shelf, sold the jeep (picture below is the day I sold it in 2007), I went back to a sports car and started a new chapter.
This Jeep was a beauty, she was good to me, she took care of me, she was my shelter at one point, yes, for 3-4 months my son and I parked in random parking lots and lived out of this jeep, rambling through the trunk every day to find clean clothes to wear, asking friends if we could stop over to wash up (I didn't want to be a burden on anyone), we would get dressed in the back seat so I could walk into work looking half way decent without anyone knowing that I had no where to live (being homeless is a whole other story). But this jeep kept us warm, she was my pride and joy, she got me to and from work every day, but I knew it was time to let her go and start fresh. Not that anyone cares but thought I'd share a little piece of this memory. Ok bye!