I used to be sold to the idea of sharing economy. Uber, AirBnb, and not owning things. It fits well with my minimalist lifestyle.
I distinctly remember trying my first Uber ride. At that moment, I thought “Why would I need a car? A car that I have to maintain, and buy insurance for”. I even considered limiting everything I own in a backpack, which would allow me to move wherever I want, whenever I want.
Owning a car
Sure, owning a car is more expensive overall. But it buys me freedom. Uber is convenient only to places where they operate, at the time when there’s a demand. With a car, I have the flexibility to travel on my terms, have my own private space. I don’t have to worry about whether I can book a ride to the specific place I want to go at any given time.
Owning a place
“Most people, Kamala, are like a falling leaf, which is blown and is turning around through the air, and wavers, and tumbles to the ground. But others, a few, are like stars, they go on a fixed course, no wind reaches them, in themselves they have their law and their course”Siddhartha
Sure, being able to move at whim seems nice. Having tried it though, I felt lost. “What the hell am I doing? What am I trying to prove?” is what I remember thinking when I was moving to my 4th hostel.
Having my own place allows me to establish roots. It gives me a home, a space where I feel at ease and can be myself, doing things that suit me. Unlike renting, where even something as simple as putting a nail in the wall requires permission, ownership offers the freedom to make decisions about the space without constraints.
Owning a decision
Ownership extends beyond material things, it includes decisions too. When I own a decision, I take responsibility for the resulting outcome. Regardless if it’s good or bad.
If in my mind it’s somebody else’s fault, how the hell can that help? Owning a decision puts myself in a position where I can correct myself when I acknowledge I made a bad move.
Ownership comes with higher costs — more money, more responsibility, more time and effort. However, the sense of having more influence over the direction of my life makes it worth it for me.