Monday, June 25, 2012

And how was your weekend? (windows on life through an apartment search in another city)

Sometimes, life is ridiculously, even hilariously, unfair.

[On Friday evening I spent an hour waiting for Megabus while an intense thunderstorm gradually drenched me and the rest of us in line, huddled together beneath a railroad bridge.]

Being in the same boat brings people together.

[We started chatting with those around us -- the same folks we usually ignore as we all mind our own business waiting in line in normal circumstances.  We asked those who had prepared to share their umbrellas, complained together, screamed when the wind gusted and umbrellas blew inside out.  I saw one guy who lent a sweatshirt to a girl who looked particularly chilly.]

The crappy stuff is (usually) temporary.

[The bus finally came, and we all struggled to show our tickets on our phones as the rain continued and got on.  I sat in wet clothes for the three-hour ride, yes, but eventually all of my clothes were put in the dryer and I got to take a hot shower.  The important part was that my electronics -- both my laptop and my smartphone -- and their associated gadgets (power cords) were still perfectly functional.  See?  No lasting damage.]

Care and companionship go a long, long way.

[I was accompanied throughout the two days of apartment hunting by my boyfriend, who put up with waking up crazy early, sacrificing eating on a normal schedule, walking all over the place in the 90+ degree heat, a couple of dead ends, the Metro frustrations, and overall exhaustion -- and never complained even once.  He was patient and helpful, in good spirits, and even carried my ridiculously heavy bag for me sometimes.  What more could I ask?  He made my experience infinitely better than it would have been had I been running around on my own.]

So does being friendly.

[I am often pretty shy about contacting and meeting people I don't know, even more so when they aren't friend-of-a-friend connections.  Naturally apartment searching puts me in the situation of needing to do this quite a number of times.  Therefore, it was both comforting and refreshing for me when I met with people who were simply friendly, good-natured, and very helpful.  Yes, they were trying to market something to me, but I never sensed an act in their demeanor or words.  I appreciated this very much.]

Sometimes, relaxing and lounging are valid and enjoyable ways of spending time.

[It's easy to debate with myself about whether I'm being lazy if I'm lying around doing nothing productive whatsoever.  I do believe life should include a balance of activities -- or maybe that's just what I have found makes me happiest, most satisfied, and least bored.  But let's face it: our bodies have a limit.  After a long day of trekking in the heat, I thoroughly enjoyed relaxing with dinner, beer, boyfriend, and stumbling on a good movie on TV.  Balance achieved.]

Sometimes, you make mistakes or things don't go as planned... but these are not the end of the world.

[On Sunday I had intended to wake up around 10 or 11am.  This would have given me enough sleep, but still a good block of time to check out more places before catching the bus home.  Guess what?  My phone froze overnight, and none of my several alarms went off.  I woke up just before an open house I had really hoped to attend.  So there was nothing I could do but try to go later.  I did, and it was too late.  Maybe the scenario could have been avoided, but I did the best I could to work with the situation as it turned out.  My best wasn't successful, but I can't get everything right in life, so I find no need to berate myself, lament it, or dwell on regret.  I just need to move on to the next step.]