I’m scared. Over the last two or three weeks, I’ve been biking everywhere — sort of as a test. I barely drove my car over the last three weeks, and most of the driving could’ve been avoided. It was clear: I needed to sell my car. Today, I say goodbye to “Blue Blazer.” Yes, my slick coupe is going into safe hands, but parting ways never feels easy.
See, even though I’m on this frugal journey, I feel frightened to say goodbye to my car. It’s a total extra and creature comfort in my city, but it’s hard letting go. A bunch of what if questions seep into my head. What if I need a car? What if I need to get somewhere fast? What if…?
Today, we part ways like old friends. Ol’ Blue brought me to Iowa safely when I moved. We saw a few girlfriends and took great road trips. There’s history between us. In a weird, consumeristic way, a car is comparable to a relationship. When you spend years with something, it’s hard not to feel attached (even if you cannot communicate with that inanimate object).
Well, in a couple hours, I hand over the keys. It’ll be bittersweet. Many good memories. I’ll miss the wild independence that comes with the possibility to jump in my car and drive off to… Wherever. The idea of a momentary craziness where I just drive off into the sunset must fade; at least, for a little while.
There’s a cliche that every goodbye is a new beginning. That’s helped me part ways with my car. See, selling my car opens me up to new opportunities. I’m officially joining the sharing economy.
Essentially, the sharing economy asserts that we no longer need to be burdened with individual ownership. Rather, people can come together and share what they have. Everyone won’t need a car, drill, ladder, or lawn mower. Everything from RelayRides, ZipCar, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, Craigslist, and CouchSurfing offer the ability to share with others. Everything is more affordable this way.
Without a car, I’ll be entering a new world where I’ll need to rely on the sharers — corporate or personal. But American society emphasizes a fierce independence and control — one without reliance on others. That always seems to be the end goal for wealth, too. Make enough money and you’ll never need to rely on another person — you can own whatever you need. Buy the house, fill the garage, park the two cars out front. That’s not going to be my life.
For all my concerns and worries, there’s an excitement for the unknown. I don’t know what it will feel like to be without a car — maybe a little naked at first. But I do know I’ll stay out of lengthy DMV lines, stop worrying about insurance, depreciation, and completely remove my gas expenditures.
As much as I worry about losing my freedom by not having a car, I’m now freed to save, travel, and stay out of debt.
I couldn’t be happier.