Well, friends, as my title today says… “it is time.” It has taken me a while to wrap my head around this, but I’ve finally come to the realization that having a car just isn’t working for me in this stage of my life right now.
Three years ago, I foolishly – but with great intention – bought an almost brand new vehicle when I started my new business. In retrospect, I wasn’t foolish to buy a vehicle, but maybe to spend so much money on one as I was just getting my business up and running. I do have to say that I put a lot of thought into my choice of car and I chose my type of car for many good reasons. At the time, I also qualified for the car loan because I was on a government subsidized program to start my business. But at the end of my 9month program, I still wasn’t making enough money to live off of.
So, of course, I made do – living off my loans from the bank, hoping and praying I’d eventually get enough clients and make enough money to get the loans paid off. Well, honestly, who would have guessed that I’d slip on the ice and have a minor fender bender that would eventually almost bankrupt me because I had the wrong level of insurance on my vehicle. No one could have anticipated that. And now I’ve gotten myself in so deep that, if I continue on this path, there’s absolutely no way I will get out. Of course, the banks will continue to lend me money, but that’s not exactly the wisest decision.
After much stewing and “figuring” this week, I finally made the decision to give up my car altogether. Having evaluated my finances, I’ve realized that it’s just not possible for me to afford a vehicle at this time in my life. As it is, by taking the vehicle off the road altogether, it will take me 2-3yrs to pay back my lines of credit at the bank.
It’s time for me to stop pretending.
I started taking transit because of the Great Transit Debate happening in London at the beginning of this year. I had to put the system to the test in order to honestly give an opinion. And secondly, I knew immediately that it would help me save money if I could make it work.
But now, it’s more than a cutesy “Transit Trial” for the sake of proving a point. Now it’s about survival and the Universe saying, “be grateful for the small mercies”. I am fortunate to be in a position where I can take the transit system in London – as terrible as it is – to see my clients. A) I am in the physical condition to be able to get around freely. B) Almost all of my clients live on or near a bus route (except for the one closest to my house, to whom I can walk). And C) I am grateful for the flexibility of my clients, allowing me to be a few minutes later here or there if I need to.
I have been feeling this draw for quite a while that I need to simplify my life – hence, my interest in “minimalism”, a simpler way of eating, getting out into nature, and removing people from my life who cause me stress. The Transit Trial, though aggravating as it may be, is teaching me to slow down and to notice the world around me differently. Also, it is opening my eyes to “the state of things” for a group of people in London who have even less than I do. This experience is one in empathy and also advocacy. It enables me to more effectively and consciously use my voice for a cause that is pertinent to the very fabric of London’s being right now.
Improving transit, is a necessary part of improving this city. People are quick to speak poorly of the system, but then in the same breath say “London isn’t big enough for this kind of thing.” It is that same small-minded thinking that keeps us in this place of lack. And it is strangling the “little guy (or girl)”, disempowering and disenfranchising them and keeping them in a place of oppression. It’s a symptom of the greater issue of power and greed in this city. Mark my words, if you want to create a better quality downtown, if you want to create a better quality of life for ALL Londoners, improve the quality of transportation and watch how that freedom opens the doors to opportunity (for industry, for social engagement, and for the overall morale of the community).