Emasculated by driving a little car
Since moving from full time to contracting work, commuting is obviously less consistent.
We have a large family car to ferry the kids to-and-fro their various engagements but it is not the most economic or ecologic of vehicles.
I started a contract which was roughly 25 minutes drive from my home. It made more sense for us to buy a smaller, second car which we could use for short trips and commuting.
I wanted to get something that didn't use lots of fuel and was as cheap as possible to run. So we bought a little Toyota Aygo.
It's not flashy, it has no mod-cons but it gets the job done and it gets me to work and back again.
However, I'm struggling with the image.
...and I hate myself for feeling this way.
This idea that my self worth is somehow attached to a car is ridiculous, and yet there's something going on in my subconscious.
I've got lots of friends who have very nice and flashy cars. Part of me is jealous that I don't have a flashy car, and yet at the same time in, the same breath, part of me just doesn't care.
It is out of choice, not a necessity that I chose the little car. And although still a petrol car, I chose it to be better for the environment. Or at least less bad.
And yet I'll drive to work and in the car park, someone will park next to me in a shiny BMW or whatever. And I feel slightly emasculated. I feel below that person. My rational brain is telling me "it is stupid to feel this way". I start to question why I am even allowing myself to feel this way. I don't know whether it is part of our society, media or upbringing but there is a part of me who wants that status. Who wants to "show off" like a parading peacock. "Look how successful I am with my shiny car".
The bullshit of it all is that we measure ourselves against how others perceive us. What others deem success to be. I do my best to not give a f**k and judge myself against my own measurements of success. But it's hard and sometimes feel as if I'm going against the grain.
I am conflicted. But as I try to be better, as I try to know myself better, maybe I can overcome this conflict. Maybe I can see that a bigger shinier box on wheels doesn't and won't bring me what I really need, what really matters to me.
I am happy to say that I'm still driving my little car. I'm still very happy about it. Although it's not as ecological as riding a bicycle it's still the best, worst option. I still get moments of envy. I still look over that fence. But I'm getting better at remembering what I value, what's important to me and use that to empower my feelings and decisions.