Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I think I need to get a car. Maybe not immediately, but before too long. I've been so resistant to the idea, because I hate driving, I don't want the expense and trouble of a car, and I'm opposed to car culture in general. But I live in a city with crappy public transit, limited sidewalks and poor pedestrian access to many areas, not enough bike lanes (which aren't safe anyway because they're so often used for turn lanes or parking). Am I just making myself miserable to prove a point? Is this one of those cases where I should just give in and live in the real world even if it doesn't line up with my values?

I love Austin and want to stay here. Maybe I have to accept Austin on its own terms instead of expecting it to be something it's not and consequently resenting it.

Having a car would eliminate so many little day-to-day frustrations, like having to rely on others to shop for me, or my apprehension about almost every invitation or social activity because I don't like feeling stranded and dependent on someone to drive me home. Being without a car makes it difficult for me to contemplate getting a job, it makes me reluctant to pursue a date with anyone, it makes what should be the simplest tasks feel like walking through a foot of mud. A car would also relieve some of the anxiety I feel about the heat here, because I wouldn't be out in it as much and I wouldn't be soaked with sweat every time I arrived somewhere. (Anxiety must seem like a strong word, but that's what it is. Today when I was walking to the bus in the humid 80-degree weather, my heart started racing and I thought I might cry because the air felt like summer coming and I thought, "I have to get my life together before the heat comes because once it does I'm going to be incapacitated for 5 months.")

I think the strain effects me more than I have admitted.

Now, the actual getting of a car is another story since I have no money. But I feel a small sense of relief having realized that I want one.

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