When I decided to go to college in NYC, I knew that I that I wouldn’t be able to bring a car. It simply wasn’t prudent. At the time, I didn’t think too much of it. I focused on the pros of not having to drive forty-five minutes to and from school, or another forty-five minutes (in a different direction) to and from basketball practice. I thought about being able to get everywhere – from grocery stores, school, basketball, movie theatres, etc. – via a short walk or train ride. But now it’s even more official than it was after my first month of school: I miss driving.
Now to be clear, I don’t miss having to drive everywhere. I don’t miss having to drive in blizzards, and I relish the extra time I now have from it not taking so long to get various places. That’s a part of driving that, though at times exhilarating, isn’t necessarily something I’d eagerly sign up for.
What I miss about driving is the ability to be alone. The freedom to get in your car and drive anywhere without interpersonal interruptions. I miss having an hour and a half to myself every school day. I miss being able to listen to my music/podcast/audiobook at any volume I please without affecting others, and I miss being able to drive in silence for hours on end.
In my current living conditions, in this city, you simply are not able to do that. You are surrounded by people, for better or worse, at almost all times. And for now it’s just something I’ll have to live with.
But one month from now I’ll be back in Minnesota for winter break. And I intend to drive solo whenever possible, relishing every opportunity to be alone with my thoughts. Driving is something that a lot of us take for granted, but when it’s taken away? This may not be the same for everyone, but I definitely miss driving…even in winter.
Until next time.