This past week, I had to do one of the hardest things I've ever had to face; pack up and walk away from what people commonly refer to as: “the best four years of your life.” While I am sincerely hoping that it’s not all downhill from here, leaving the house that became my home and the friends that became my family was more bitter than sweet. In true maternal fashion, Mother Nature attempted to ease my pain. However, she took the more brutal strategy of distracting me from my heartaches by causing aches elsewhere.
I left the house with my giant bag of belongings slung over my shoulder but as I turned off our street, I saw my bus pull up to the intersection. The race was on: (wo)man vs. machine. I sprinted towards the stop as fast as my legs would move only to arrive at the realization that I was racing to meet the wrong bus. As I slowed my pace and tried to tame my pounding breath, I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t left my house key for the landlords. Now the real race had begun. I ran back to the house, dropped the key on the table and flew out the door, my bag now feeling like an obese toddler clinging to my back. As I sprinted across campus to the next bus stop, I once again saw the bus rounding the corner. I willed my legs to rotate faster, channeling my inner roadrunner, and just barely made the bus. I really have no idea why I bother spending money on the gym, apparently my poor time management could achieve a comparable workout without the embarrassing spandex outfits.
Safely on my way to the Greyhound station, I thought I could relax...but the universe wasn’t done yet.
As I waited for my last bus to Toronto, it began to rain. Not just a little mist. No, this was a full out waterfall. If normal rain is cats and dogs, this storm came down like cheetahs and Dobermans. It was raining with such force that the splash zone was inescapable and even though I huddled in the very middle of the bus shelter, I still ended up completely drenched. After what seemed like a lengthy cold shower, the bus finally showed up. Soppy and sore from the day’s events, I took my seat.
As we pulled out of Toronto, we passed a billboard sporting the quote: “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” Perhaps I may not want to leave undergrad right now, but I do want to graduate. Then again, maybe the billboard was really just trying to tell me how I could have all my wants fulfilled by a commercial product, conveniently now available for the low, low price of $29.99. I guess, despite what Mastercard would have us believe, there is always a cost to happiness.