The Car Free Chronicals

Today i took Octave to preschool in SE portland. We caught a bus, just in time. I could feel its presence embarking as we fumbled out the door. My gut told me there was no time for the elevator, and so I did all but pull them down the stairs. Ok, maybe I pulled them. I pulled them. But we made it. And it mattered that we did because the next bus didn't come for 15 minutes, which isn't so bad, for someone who allows herself plenty of time, except it would mean that we would miss our connecting bus. Which would put our arrival time 30-40 minutes later, making us really late. In a car, leaving your home a few minutes later than expected does nothing to the entire course of your travels, but on public transportation, a minute is everything. This is one thing that can often leave me feeling like my life, especially with children, would be so much easier if we owned a car. 

We are finally in a place where the possibility of owning a car is back on the table. After all this time, we actually have the choice to own one. We've been doing our research, and are even putting the word out to friends and family. Over the last year I've gone through cycles of being so confident I would not change my mind and detour from our current lifestyle, to feeling like I was ready to buy a car tomorrow, or more like yesterday. It's been really powerful to ruminate on all the in's and out's and why's. Chris and I do this together, independly and then often sycned so smoothly it's shocking and humorous if we let it be. This is just one reason why we work. We fully commit. We dig in, go deep, stay a while and then leave. Quickly. But, this car thing, we are still working through it. I am often torn, because sometimes it feels hard, and after a few years of everything being hard, from marriage, to little babes, to making ends meet, i feel over it. If I can make my life easier, why wouldn't I? But, it's not that simple. Sometimes the rewards are so rich and life giving that they bulldoze any lusty day dreams of a more comfortable, time efficient life. 

I love how connected and alive I feel when I am in a bus or train with other people. I love what I am exposing my daughters to. I love that there is no insular bubble protecting us from humanity as we transport ourselves from A to B. I love that strangers are apart of our day and our story. I love that even at their young age they are seeing multiple ways of living, knowing that how our little family lives is neither right or wrong, weird or normal, it's just one way to live. I love that I have to pack minimally and choose wisely, simply by necessity. I only have two hands, and with two babes that already means I am full. My love for this lifestyle has far surpassed any motivations of shoulds, because it is me to the core. It is how I see and interact with the world. It's how I look strangers in the eyes and deal with the annoyances that come from people in tight spaces. It's how I connect with my center and feel a sense of empowerment, knowing and understanding that my body is my livelihood. Strangely enough, the more I think I want a car, the more I fall madly in love with not having one. Only as I write this am I seeing a trend here. I think I said something all too similar about marriage and motherhood not too long ago. Maybe this is just life. The highs have to match the lows, and if you let it, they will. Right when I've wanted to give up is when I've been on the cusp of the best I've experienced. This goes for almost every area in my life. So my feelings around this topic, don't have to stay consistent. I see that I've spent years trying to stay consistent which is impossible and silly because there is no growth in consistency. There is little to no room for life inside black and white. I think we were designed to shift, and waver and come right back to where they started. Which is where I am today, grateful for how we are choosing to live, and aware that the extra effort of a car free lifestyle is still feeding my soul.