I Sat in Pee

Hello, internet. It’s another week, and while I did have some lofty goals, I thought I’d share with you some of my more embarrassing moments, just so you don’t think I have my life too together.

When I first moved to back to Minneapolis, I had some major nerves about getting around in downtown. In college, I lived in the suburbs, and very rarely ventured to the city. It was scary and hard to manage. And this, of course, was all before smart phones and GPS so my mother had me fully convinced if I got lost my car would break down and I would most likely get robbed and shot (cities are terrifying! was the message). When I moved back I had grown more confident (and had an iPhone), but downtown parking was a remarkably steep $9 a day. As someone with a coffee shop income, I couldn’t make the math work. Enter: Minneapolis Metro Transit.

The first day I rode the bus, I had some major swass. Yes, you read that right. For the unfamiliar, swass is a combination of two words. Can you guess them?

With a sweating behind I watching the dot on Google Maps slide up the screen through the blocks. Was it 3rd or 4th Ave that I was supposed to get off at? How do I tell the bus driver I want to get off? Does it just stop? What if it doesn’t stop? Can I stand up while the bus is moving? Which door do I leave out of? Does the door shut on me? What if something gets stuck? What if I leave my wallet? What if I can’t get off in time? Do I say something or wait until the next stop?

As a kid from the ‘burbs (where my experience with buses was limited to a bus picking me up at my house and me getting off once it stopped at school), riding the bus terrified me. I worried about everything–from not having the right change, to which which side the street to get on. In this tiny moment were so many strange stresses. And you want to know what? I haven’t thought of any of these stresses in almost a year.

A few days ago I got on the bus and sat down, and suddenly my butt was wet. But it wasn’t the swass (which I usually now only have before a date or an interview), but it was something else. On a good day, I would have pretended that it was a wet grocery bag. On the day it happened however, I walked into work and announced “I SAT IN PEE” probably louder than I should have at a quiet coffee shop. As awful as the experience was, I can’t help but find it somewhat hilarious, and a little comforting. (Hear me out!) While it was absolutely gross and terrible that I sat in pee while on the bus–that was the only awful thing that happened to me on the bus. I got on at the right time to get me to work, heading the right direction. I knew which stop to pull the string for, and which direction to walk once I got off. I knew where to pick up the bus again when I got back on (in my pee covered pants–GENTLEMEN, I’M SINGLE), and I knew where to get off. And I haven’t had to worry about these things in over a year.

I wish I could have told past-me about this experience. That someday she’d sit in pee and it would somehow be both awful and hilarious. And that she’d survive all of the tiny stresses that seemed almost impossible to overcome when she started this adventure. Maybe I knew it objectively, but until you live it, you can never really trust yourself. Adventure and new experiences may initially give you nerves, but someday they won’t any more. It is important to put yourself into new moments and to experience new things. Someday, it might not be so terrifying.

Now. Let’s talk again after this swass-inducing OkCupid date on Wednesday.

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