Choosing joy was a radical new approach to life that I began subscribing to after ending a relationship many years ago, but years of pandemic-related stress and general global chaos have made it even more important.
Of course, being able to choose joy often comes from a place of privilege, and when driving a Lamborghini Huracan STO that costs about half a million bucks, you begin to realize that money does, indeed, buy happiness and that privilege presents many more opportunities for people to choose joy.
As a rich person’s plaything, this street-legal race car is the ultimate expression of an uncompromising dedication to speed, which is also a form of joy. Anything that distracts this exotic car from its singular purpose of going as fast as possible has been sacrificed at the altar of speed. For half a million dollars, you’d expect a car to have certain features like a cupholder, heated seats, heck, even a door handle, but this Lamborghini has none of that; yet it still manages to feel worth every penny, because you can’t put a price on joy. This extreme level of focus – this absolutely unhinged and unwavering pursuit of joie de vivre – is truly inspirational.
And without a proper race track to truly experience how this marvel of automotive engineering was meant to be driven, it’s fascinating to me how this Lamborghini still manages to radiate happiness just simply existing.
Get in, We’re Going Shopping
My friend Aniseh and I have a lot in common. Both women of colour in our mid-30s, we also live in the same building, share a birthday, love cars, and were both married and divorced before 30. Most of our friends have children now, and I miss the days when I could call up any one of them and say something ridiculous like, “We should go to Africa this weekend” and actually make it happen. Making plans to see my friends who are new mothers is an exercise that takes months, and the inability to be spontaneous has made it harder to nourish certain friendships.
Aniseh and I have both made the decision not to become mothers, and as people who have been divorced we often get the sense that people feel sympathy for us, but here’s a secret: we are living our best lives.
So we randomly hop into the Lamborghini and drive to the mall to go shopping. It feels weird to be driving such a purpose-built machine for what seems like an unremarkable task, but if sheer speed isn’t available, fostering female friendship in your mid-30s is the next best thing.
It was honestly the most fun I’ve had in a while. Aniseh and I often have deep and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about life, divorce, relationships, and how internalized sexism and racism have shaped us, but for one blissful afternoon, we laughed and were silly and had no cares in the world. We bought clothes we didn’t need but made us feel fierce, we went for ice cream (we’re both lactose intolerant), and we taunted men who were clearly gobsmacked to see two women drive by in one of the most stereotypically masculine vehicles in existence. We did a few full-throttle runs in an abandoned parking lot just for the sake of it, screaming and howling with laughter as if we were two girls drunk at the club.
We got a brief taste of what our lives would be like if we were fabulously wealthy, but more than the Lamborghini itself, the experience reminded us of the importance of surrounding yourself with people who lift you up and choose joy. This Lamborghini will always be a reminder for me to choose joy.
The Pursuit of Happiness and the Need for Speed
This Lamborghini Huracan STO spreads joy everywhere it goes, even if it’s just parked. Anytime I’d leave it parked, I’d return to see a handful of people surrounding it, all being sucked in by its vortex of inherent charm. You can attempt not to look at it, but it demands your full attention. You’ll feel its gravitational pull and find it impossible to look away.
Driving it around, I pass a group of high schoolers waiting for the bus all scrambling to pull their phones from their pockets as soon as they catch a glimpse of it. I rev the engine for them and they absolutely lose their minds. I spent almost an entire workday showing the car to my colleagues, taking them for quick rips, revving the engine for them, and taking their photos as they sat in the driver’s seat. “My son’s going to be so jealous,” someone says. “I can’t wait to show him!”
If you’re privileged enough to drive a Lamborghini I think it’s your civic duty to share that joy with people as much as possible, because most will never get the opportunity. Everywhere I went I budgeted extra time to make sure I’d be able to chat with people, take their photo, let them sit inside, and wait while they Facetimed their loved ones to share.
And when the Lamborghini wasn’t spreading joy by simply existing, it was pumping adrenaline right into my nervous system, its V10 engine and carbon fibre construction working overtime to elicit as many stupid grins as possible. Every time I fired it up, its V10 roaring to life and waking up the neighbourhood, I would feel an intense shiver of anticipation, as if I was expecting to meet a celebrity. Every time I floored the throttle, the ballistic acceleration, screaming engine, and sheer force of defying physics made me understand why cars like this are so fascinating.
I knew the Lamborghini Huracan STO would be the most focused, intensely engaging, violently quick, and severely uncompromising performance car I’ve ever driven. I didn’t expect it, however, to also be the universal harbinger of happiness it turned out to be.