Tuesday’s Unexpected Long Walk (8/31/10)
It’s chaos around town these days. The fall semester officially started on Monday, and what was once a peaceful, sleepy university town has turned into swarms of people and cars zigzagging in all directions with no concern for traffic patterns or each other. It’s a little hard to adjust to this much change, all at once. I miss the summer session! Come back, summer session!
On most weekdays, I ride the bus to and from campus. I like bike-riding a lot, but I like not having to worry about the sweat and grime after I get off the bike. I also feel like it might be too much for my body to bike to and from work and do all the other exercise I might like to do for fun—the yoga, the running, and the occasional aqua-jog. So I take the bus.
I was strolling over to my bus stop on Tuesday evening when I saw the bus pull away from the curb—four minutes early! I literally watched it drive away without me. It was shocking. Texas A & M busses are incredibly punctual, and they are never, ever supposed to leave a stop early. I couldn’t believe I just missed the bus because someone can’t follow instructions!
It was so, so hot that evening, with temperatures in the 90s and the evening sun shining. I waited at the bus stop for almost 20 minutes, on the off chance that another bus would come around, but I was unlucky—and pissed. Hot and angry, I began the long walk home. I walked for more than 40 minutes, and as I put one foot in front of the other, I started noticing small things, like the way the wind cooled my sweaty skin or the way the sun cast long shadows as it dipped into the horizon. The closer I got to home, the more my anger dissipated into something closer to calm. Thank goodness I was wearing a pair of walking sandals—they kept my feet comfortable during this unexpected long walk.
In spite of the frustration of this story, I think there is a lesson to be learned here: most of the time, unexpected difficulties are not as bad as we fear they will be. I didn’t want to walk home that night, in the heat and already tired from full day at work, but being upset about it felt worse than just accepting my fate. I could have called a cab, but what for? To take me home when my own two feet can do the job? Nah—I’d rather just walk and be certain of my own strength and resourcefulness.