Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why are you Chasing the bus?

I reflect a lot these days, but I do so less frequently in print. I decided to record some of my recent sentiments today.

I spent three hours trying to catch the number 11 bus today. Punctuated by a break for lunch at the corner of the bus stop, and an interlude attempting to use the trains instead - I actually chased down two number 11 buses – one which I missed and one which I caught, only to be told no this is the wrong bus and not let onboard, I fell back, defeated. And admittedly, swearing out loud with reckless abandon.

I knew I needed that bus. I knew it was the bus going where I wanted to be going. I even relaxed after the first miss, standing on the correct street but the wrong side of the intersection, re-evaluated and got brunch. After all, even if I needed that bus, I suppose it didn’t matter what time I caught it – that was my whole plan for the day.

When it came to being turned away from the bus I thought I needed, and storming off to a train station and even more maddening confusion related to that and where the connecting station ‘within walking distance’ even was – I decided to regroup and go back to my hotel. Tired, frustrated, drugged up and ready for the next dose and even more dehydrated – really, why was I chasing that bus? I had no ticket. There was no deadline.

It was the wall I built for myself. Sometimes, goals and objectives are worthwhile. Other times, being unable to achieve even the smallest of them, we allow ourselves to shut down. Or at least, I do.

I thought about it, and it wasn’t about the bus versus the train versus taxi fare. It was about my certainty in my own ability to ‘do it,’ to catch that bus, to do it myself without help. When that didn’t work, when help didn’t pan out either – it really just represented one thing: another failure. Plummeting electrolytes did not assist.

Now you might be saying to yourself damn, it is just a bus calm down. And you’d be right. But the thing is, it’s not just the bus. And it hasn’t been just the bus, or the visa, or any of that for some time. And really – the bus is yet another punctuation of that continued realization – until it sticks, it will be the bus, or the visa, or whatever it is.

I guess the point I’m trying to get across is to realize when you don’t need to chase the bus. When it’s ok to sit down. Buy a bottle of water and find another perspective. The semi broken colored window panes of a room that seems to serve no purpose, overlooking pigeon decorated rooftops with old shoes dotting the mix might do nicely. It’s not the view you were looking for. It’s not particularly scenic. But it’s a different view. A view from which to clear your head, and neither the journey nor the destination will matter until you can do that.

Perhaps we will try again tomorrow, bus 11 and I.
I have had the sense to acquire a map, at this point.
But I think I will work on the loftier goal of acquiring a Malaysian plug adapter and dinner. Wherever.