girl car

Life is littered with lessons. And I’m a big believer that until a lesson has been learned, life will continue to send situations our way that allow us to experience something that triggers our required teaching. If we don’t Learn The Lesson, we are destined to repeatedly find ourselves in circumstances that bring us face to face with what it is that we need to know.

Do you regularly find yourself in situations that make you feel uncomfortable? That are expensive? That piss you off? Is there a recurring theme here, a lesson to be learned?

I’ve finally (finally!) learnt a big lesson re: owning a car. In the 9 years I’ve been a car owner, I’ve always been a proud one, often proclaiming that I could never live without my set of wheels. I would feel lost without my carHow would I EVER do ANYTHING? Public Transport, I think not.

I always felt some sense of freedom being a Proud Car Owner; the possibility of spontaneous road trips or the convenience of practically living out of my car always outweighed the cost of car-ownership in my mind.

Which is a shitload. As my Dad puts it, owning a car means always having your hand in your pocket.

Or in my case, your hand in your bank manager’s pocket because your car has actually put you into minor debt.

I have always been a massive magnet for parking tickets, speeding fines, blown tyres or busted radiators. I won’t disclose exactly how much money I spent last year on unnecessary car expenses, but let’s just say you could backpack around South East Asia for a couple of months with it. In style.

And still, I continued to claim that I could never live without my car and begrudgingly forked out wads of cash on fines. Not to mention car repayments, insurance, registration, services…

Stay with me here. I know car-talk is a little dull.

Because the happy-ending is here. I, Claire Baker, have learnt my lesson.

I finally let go of the false belief that I need four wheels to get from A to B.  I sold my car and whattaya know, I am still breathing as a completely functional human. And not only breathing, but actually rather enjoying the experience of it all. The trains in Perth are clean, reliable and frequent. Not having to find a park everywhere I go is a freedom in itself. I have more time to read books, listen to lectures, people watch or stare out the window than I would if I was behind the wheel.

I walked the 6km home from the Fremantle Markets over the weekend and noticed a plethora of shops, hole-in-the-wall cafes and old Victorian homes with gardens that overflow onto the path ahead, crumbly brick walls and band posters for up-coming live gigs in windows of trendy bars. Almond trees in full bloom. Paint peeling off picket fences and old vintage shop signs (with divine typography) that I’ve driven past a million times and never noticed.

No photos of above-mentioned walk sorry as my phone died; a freedom in itself. 

Without the confines of my car, I feel as if I am experiencing more of life. I am far more observant, more in the moment and ironically, ultimately more free. There are far more opportunities for presence waiting at a train station than there is waiting in your car at the lights. In peak hour.

Yes I have been caught in the rain a few times and it takes a tad longer to get to work but for now, I am no longer a car owner.

Lesson learnt, extremely liberated. And yes, a much fatter wallet. Now to ship my bike over from Melbourne…

Tell me, is there a false belief that you know you can drop, a lesson somewhere to be learned? Let’s chat in the comments below!