Sunday, October 13, 2013

Driving again

So, I'm driving again.

Here's what happened. Back in June, spending a couple of months in Philadelphia, I really felt handicapped. Living a busy life in that city, with work and activities and 3 kids' school schedules and social events, meant a lot of long, slow, inconvenient public transit, expensive taxis, begging rides off friends, and sometimes, just having to give up on ambitions entirely.

It dawned on me that this no-driving resolution is coming head-to-head with another resolution I have - to dive back into my life in Philly full-force, working and and bringing the kids to activities and good schools and just engaging with the world in a way I haven't been able to these last few years.

If I was a different type of person - if I was a person who loved being at home, gardening, cooking, schooling the kids, etc - it would be a different story.  I could avoid driving, and enjoy the environmental and financial benefits of that, and settle into a slower-paced life.

But that isn't me. And while the Cirque tour has allowed me to maintain this lifestyle for 3.5 years - with center city living, shuttle services, and just generally a lot less going on - that is not going to be sustainable when we move home.  When it comes down to it, pursuing my career, and not compromising on the kids educational and extracurricular options, are more important to me than not driving a car.

With that in mind, I took a deep breath, went down to the DMV to get my license reinstated, and spent the summer re-acquainting myself with driving.

For the most part it's been an easy transition.  It only took a few weeks for me to get used to the rhythms of driving, of traffic and parking and lane changes and highways and speed limits.  (remembering that I drove for 18 years before I quit in 2010!)  By September I was comfortable enough to start bringing the kids around places by myself, and helping Greg out with the cross-country drive.  

I still hate it.  Being inside the car makes me feel like I'm in a bubble, barricaded from the world, and the windshield feels like a videogame screen.  I much prefer experiencing travel outside in the air, on foot on or bicycle.  I also have the nagging sense that I'm putting my life on the line every time I get behind the wheel; it just feels reckless from the start.  

But I am greatly enjoying the newfound freedom.  The last two tour stops (here, San Pedro, CA, and Dublin, OH) have been much easier places to navigate with a car.  I can go to a yoga class, or do the grocery shopping, all by myself, without anyone else having to be inconvenienced.  Greg and the kids are relieved as well, you can imagine.  (Ayla is openly, glowingly proud of me.)  

Part of me hopes that I will have a life again someday that doesn't require a car.  A bigger part of me is just excited to get back to a faster-paced life, where a car is needed to do all the valuable things I used to do.  

1 comment:

  1. You need wheels - until you land in Europe at least. Hugs and smiles.