In my work life, I would use rental cars, cabs, shuttles, planes and car services with not one thought about it except in regard to dates and times. Since my vision loss, I have relied solely on rides from magnanimous family and friends. There is no public transportation where I live, but there is Uber. I knew that this service existed but for some reason gave it no consideration. My current life is filled with constant irony and this is one of those instances. When I had my full sight, I would have not hesitated to use Uber. But now when I need it, the whole idea of it gave me great pause. It wasn’t fear but something indeterminable and so I ignored the option for a long time.
And then, knowing I have quite a few appointments coming up, planning and logistics forced me to look at the best course of action. You can take the meeting planner out of corporate America . . . The people in my life are SO generous with their time and vehicles and they will always be my first selfish choice. But Uber became a solution I could no longer deny.
So today I took my first Uber ride. What once would have been second nature, a means to an end, a blip on the radar of my day’s activities, is now one of the biggest events of my life. I left my home without the security of someone I love accompanying me and although it will return some of the independence I lost, it still felt really odd. Getting in a friend’s car is fun and more about the journey. Hiring someone to drive me is all about the destination.
Driving used to be one of my very favorite things to do. I would go anywhere, anytime. Although I won’t be behind the wheel, I’m hoping that the ability to go anywhere, anytime is like riding a bike.
I told you, friends, like Uber, irony is everywhere.