Trying to find parking in Los Angeles is like trying to find a metaphor that accurately describes how bad it is. I initially thought that parking a small car would be easy and maybe even enjoyable, but finding temporary resting places for my fun-sized FIAT 500 turned out to be harder than expected.
I can’t recount the number of times I have tried to inch my way into a space that I had absolutely no chances of fitting into. I get out to make sure I’m not in the red, only to see that half of my car in the towing zone. After circling the block a few times, I stop by the same spot to double check and drive away feeling defeated. Before I can begin my daily parking rant, a space appears.
At a first glance, it’s all mine. Since it’s too compact for any of the cars in competition, I take my time. But as soon as I start to back in, I start doubting myself. What if I can’t fit? What if the car behind me runs into The Destiny Mobile on their way out? This is too complicated; I need to find another space. And then reality hits. There are no other spaces. I must face my fears and parallel park.
With a few exceptions, I’ve managed to fit every time, but it takes real concentration and courage. If you think I’m being dramatic, try parking in Downtown L.A. Imagine squeezing the car of your dreams into a tiny space between a rusty truck and a diagonal SUV. And with cars zooming by and impatient drivers staring you down, there’s usually not much time.
The FIAT 500 can pretty much fit wherever you think it can, but unless you’re willing to try it, you’ll miss out on a space that could’ve been uniquely yours. In order to reap the benefits of having a compact car, one must have the boldness to maneuver into unlikely parking spaces. I’ve learned that in order to successfully park in LA, I have to be confident in and comfortable with my car. Most of my parking failures have been entirely my fault. I’m finally learning to give The Destiny Mobile more credit and to start trusting myself behind the wheel.