Friday, 6 July 2018

Goodbye Car

This particular blog will not be a surprise to people living in big cities like London or New York but here, in the southwest of England, everyone has a car when most of us don't need one. 

In a previous blog I mentioned that my car was the hardest thing for me to let go of when I was going through my declutter stage of my minimalism journey. Why was it so hard to let got of and what helped me through the process? I have chosen to share this particular predicament with you because if you are going through something similar, you will also feel a homogeneous pull and you will make excuses to retain if you don't resist. 

I had, until recently, a 2014 Ford Fiesta ST. For those of you reading from abroad I am unsure if there is a different name for this model but be assured that it is an ‘affordable sports hatchback.’ I often and loudly told anyone who was remotely interested in cars that this ST was my pride and joy. My toy that I could enjoy driving and look good while doing it. Why did I get so attached? 

I distinctively remember a conversation I had with my dad when I was around 15 years old. He said, “Son, when you get to 18 there will only be three things on your mind; Cars, money and women.” 

Now, this is a massive generalisation on my fathers part but, as it happens, he was right in my case. Father like son I guess. Remembering this was important because I could finally link my 'attachment' to an 'attitude.' Recollecting this young man chasing popularity, women, money and cool cars, allows me to now conclude that I had a serious ego problem.

Therefore, it is perhaps a little comforting that I can look back at this time and remind myself that I'm now 28 years old and a different kind of man. Ten years ago I could have been described as a womaniser, narcissistic, arrogant, immature and egotistic. 

To bring us back to the original point. My ST was a toy, a statement and a “look at me” superfluous object that I jealously held on to by way of habit of my younger self. Once I had made this discovery I was able to start letting it go. Yes, it’s a lovely, fast, good looking car but these days I have nothing to prove to anyone. My partner Ellie hasn’t left me since I sold the car, my friends don't suddenly think less off me and no one else, to put it bluntly, cares! 

To tie all this together we must return to the question of ‘why’. Be careful not to ask the wrong question; “Why can I not let this go?” That is a very different question. Its too generic and will have you guessing for a long time. Instead, when faced with a situation where you cant let something go, ask yourself firmly and with honesty; “Why am I so attached?” This will focus you to draw on the problem and discover the solution.

For me, it was the old teenage egotistic disposition that was holding me back. Whats stopping you? 

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