First things first. Before I adopt this way of living, I decided I need a new perspective, a new point of view. I am getting concerned that if I keep thinking about this as being WithOut, I would somehow feel deprived and feeling deprived is not a good feeling to me. So, I realized that I might be without a car – but I am with a lot of options. And in my book, options are a good thing.
I love options. Options mean choice and choice is a very powerful place to be. Today, my scary-smart friend, Galit, taught me that this viewpoint of having choices is a very American way of looking at things. Knowing I have choices and can do things in different ways, feeds me. I guess I typify an American in this regard because I love options. I don’t like being boxed in. Never have. So, I intend to see this journey as an experience in having choices and options. This seems like a good POV to me.
Do you go to NYC much? NYC offers lots of transportation options and is very non-car friendly. After a few trips, you get the hang of mobility in the city. It may take a couple of hundred bucks in cab fare to realize that you can take the subway, and live. And the bus. And the subway there and then, a cab home. And there is something about getting around in NY that makes me feel so savvy. Successfully navigating subways, changing trains, getting to the right platform, coming up at the right location – it makes me feel good and relieved. I also feel like I am in the flow with the city, like I am connected, and am one of them. I come home with transit envy.
In Atlanta, I already live, work and play in Midtown and have been here since the late 80’s. (Talk about seeing some changes!) Living in Midtown is a plus for many reasons and easy access to mass transit is one of them. It is not the access to transit that will challenge me. It’s getting to the train or bus stop on time. Managing life to accommodate getting to mass transit on their schedule is a bit worrisome to me. I don’t want this way of living to create hardship on others and I do not want to become someone who is late for meetings. I hate being late for meetings. To me, it’s like telling someone their time is not as valuable as mine. (My brother, on the other hand, arrives as much as an hour early, just to be on time-I am not sure what that says!) But, I am still not as punctual as I would like to be so, maybe this will be one of those wonderful new habits that comes from this experience. Time will tell, right?
As the days on the calendar tick off and I am closer to Earth Day, or E-Day as I am calling it, I can feel a bit apprehensive at times. But today, I am excited. I am looking forward to Going AWOC – Atlanta WithOut a Car!