I recently got a car.
His name is Kurogane. He’s great. I like him a lot.
But I’m not here to talk about car ownership. I’m here to talk about time.
The reason I got the car was for a job opportunity in Austin. I didn’t want to move right away. I made the drive to and from Austin for about a month. That’s about 180 miles a day and about 4 hours a day total just driving in the car. I took it in stride for the most part: it was time to listen to podcasts and just be anywhere but home. I’m from North Texas: 2 hours is a bad night’s worth of traffic from Dallas.
I recently left the Austin job not because of the commute but because I didn’t like what I was commuting for. I took another job in San Antonio and it’s a much better fit and I’m much happier.
Now for a little bit of context: up until this point in my time here in San Antonio I’ve been relying on public transit. I loved busing it. I didn’t have to worry about parking it wasn’t so unreliable. It was nice. I lived on a bus route and it didn’t take me long to get to many places. I did however take a lot of time to get to places I really enjoy but I took it in stride: planned out my weekends more carefully and moved things around. It fed the part of me that is a meticulous planner (and you can find out more about that here) and I didn’t have much to complain about. But my concept of time was radically different. It took me easily about an hour just to get anywhere and that wasn’t factoring in how quickly I walked various places. Nothing was spontaneous. Nothing happened without some planning. Nothing happened just out the blue. I did miss out on things: but not too many things.
Having a car changed some of those things. I can get to the hair stylist without having to take 2 buses and at least an hour. I can get food whenever I want to (that’s a very dangerous power to have). I can leave the city of San Antonio as I’m sure you all can see based on the day trips I’ve taken (I’ll write a blog post about that soon). But now my concept of time is radically different. Everything can be just a few minutes away.
With everything just a stone’s throw away I’ve become somewhat more impatient. I don’t like having to wait. I can just decide to go anywhere and do anything. I also don’t like driving long distances without company. I plan even more carefully because of traffic. I found myself recently complaining about a 20 or 30 minute drive to work and then it hits me all of the sudden that just this time a few weeks ago my drive was an hour and a half without traffic or at least 45 minutes on the bus. Where do I have room to complain?
I’ve mellowed out a lot about traffic and actually now that I have a car I’m actually probably at home even more: I dislike paying for gas despite having a hybrid car. But the idea that an hour is an hour and a minute isn’t always that is an interesting and fantastic concept. Think of how trains made modern time.