Quarter Life Crisis: Kids on the Bus

I figured I’d make this a blog post since I ended up texting my poor friend half a novel about it the other day.

Riding along the freeway into Center City. On my way to work. A lot of school buses on the road, full of kids. They’re waving out of the windows. Hoping people driving by would wave back. They annoyed me.

Stupid kids, I thought.. How can they expect everyone to pay attention to them? We’re driving. We’re trying to focus. We have more pressing matters to dwell on as we sit in traffic. Why do you think you’re so special?

As I sat there, inching along, my mind drifted back to when I was that age. When I was in grades school, on my way to a field trip or something. I used to do that, wave at cars passing by. What was my mindset, Little Storm? What did I know about life, and what was I still ignorant to? At what point did it all change? How many times does the world have to crush you for the harsh reality of how small and insignificant you are to set in? Why was I so offended that these waving children had no idea of such a concept? Why don’t they get it? Why do I want them to? I don’t..

I should be glad they don’t “get it.” I should hope they don’t learn these lessons too early. I think I did.

I shocked myself. Me, present-day me. I took a trip back to childhood and came back appalled, asking myself what happened. How could I be so harsh? Little me, my peers, the kids on this bus. I, we, they, just wanted to say hi. To share their joy with random strangers driving by. No entitled sense of HEY YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO ME RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I’M ME AND I’M WAVING. Just, hey let’s say hi to the people we pass. And what does it matter if they did feel that way? They’re kids. They literally have nothing else to worry about in life.

Wow, how massive this chasm has grown, between me and childhood. Although I don’t feel I was ever well acquainted with the other side, I wasn’t ready to see and acknowledge how much farther I had traveled. But I do see, and I do acknowledge. And I waved back.

Quarter-Life Crisis: DIY

It happened again. I was faced with the fact that I’m older. And this time I’m even older than I was the last time I complained. It just won’t stop.

Let me tell you about this adventure I had not too long ago.

After months in this new apartment, I finally decided to actually venture around and do stuff in town. There’s a Target and other stores right down the street from the complex within walking distance. I really wanted to get lost in stationary, and I also woke up with an insatiable craving for yogurt, so I was like hey! I’ll just take a walk over to Target and get the stuff I need, how CONVENIENT!!! I was very excited. I got dressed and started my walk.

Did I tell you about the layout of this apartment complex? I didn’t did I? Alrighty, well I swear this place is big enough to have its own zip code. Target is located down the road at the one end of the complex. And me? I live on the complete other end. I could have just walked to the main road for a straight shot to yogurt and stationary paradise, but of course I didn’t do that. I figured it would be faster to just walk through the complex to the other side. It doesn’t sound like it should be so bad, does it?

Well, it was so bad. In fact, it was worse.

This apartment complex is situated with a giant circle road in the center with a bunch of little windy roads stemming out from the main circle. I didn’t want to get lost on that circle, going down the wrong street and ending up somewhere that wasn’t Target. So instead of following any streets, I just went straight. In between buildings, across fields, whatever. As long as I went straight, I would surely get to the other side, right?

I got lost.

Every apartment looks exactly the same. I started questioning everything. How long have I been walking? Am I even going straight anymore? WILL THIS EVER END WHERE IS THE OTHER SIDE?!

It started raining. I wanted to give up and go back home, but wait…where is home? Where is anything??? This is how I die, I thought. Stuck in a sprawl of cookie cutter buildings that span out as far as I could see. In the rain. Phone dead. Tired and hungry for yogurt.  It was one of the darker moments in my life..

In my growing hopelessness, I wondered maybe if I just… sat on the ground, and cried, someone would come help me find my way home. And this is where it all set in. This is where I realized that I was an adult, and nobody is going to pity a grown woman crying in the rain over yogurt. This is where I figured in order to get out of this, I’m gonna have to do it myself. So I got myself together, and continued my trek. After such turmoil, I better get what I left the house for. I may be pathetic, but to be pitiful enough to accept defeat ought to be a sin.

I made it to Target. And I made it back home. I may have turned a 30 minute trip into a four hour journey, but hey. I got my yogurt. Bought myself some pens. I’ll get this adulting thing down eventually, you think? Maybe? Nah, I totally will. You’ll see.