So yesterday was fun.
My day was filled with: awkward social encounters, spilling jars of salsa, getting my pants pulled down at my place of work by a six year old girl, traffic so unruly that I went about five miles in thirty minutes, and I got into a small car wreck on good ol’ HWY 24, just to top everything off.
Some days are just like that.
The car I slammed into the back of couldn’t have been owned by a better person. The girl was my age, she has really curly hair, steps out of her car and immediately hugs me, I start to cry and apologize but she interrupts me, holds my hand as she turns towards the traffic and she screams, DON’T APOLOGIZE, OF COURSE THIS WAS GONNA HAPPEN, LOOK AT THIS SHIT SHOW OF A HIGHWAY, WHAT DO WE EXPECT! THERE’S LIKE 800 WRECKS OUT HERE TONIGHT, EVERYONE’S HONKING AND BEING ASSHOLES TO EACH OTHER! FUCK YOU OAKLAND!
The thought crosses my mind that maybe this girl is crazy, or drunk. But I think the Bay has gotten to her too. Her hazard lights are on, they illuminate her face and then switch off, I can see her and then I can’t, bright and then dark. She keeps telling me it’s okay. She tells me that she “doesn’t give a shit” about the two scratches on her car but that her Dad might care, so she takes my information, tells me to get home safely, and then she drives off.
And that was that. Everyone was okay and little damage was done. Thankfully.
Wake up calls always happen like this: they come in the form of tragedy. Sometimes they’re unspeakably tragic and cementing, other times you just curse Oakland and drive off with a new contact in your iPhone: Danielle FenderBender.
Even though the little wreck occurred on the east side of the Caldecott tunnel, it still took me almost an hour to get to Moraga after it happened. So I had some time to think.
I want to teach. I want to teach writing and I want to teach more yoga. I want to write. More. Like, I want to write a book. I want to travel. I want to go rock climbing. I want to hear more stories, taste more foods, I want to meet everyone, I want to learn: languages, about the stars, how to surf, how to grow something, how to love without borders, I want to create something that will somehow make this place a little less sad. I feel like I have more to offer the world than spending my days giving piggy back rides to six year olds who think they’re cats. Don’t get me wrong–I love every one of the kids I coach, and even when I have four of them hanging off of my various limbs and one of them accidentally shows my ass to some old men lifting weights, I’m still aware that they’re teaching me more about joy than anyone else has. And I’m also aware that I sound very much like a cliche modern day 20-something from My Generation that the Baby Boomers like to poke fun at, especially when I say that I think I’m better than a job and have oh so much to give to this world. But whatever. Maybe I am acting privileged and know nothing of hard work. Maybe I’m overly idealistic and need to take off these rose colored glasses and stop thinking such romantic thoughts.
Hmmm…on second thought. Nah. I’m having too much fun.
It’s easy to just fall into a schedule and be okay with it, going through your days overly caffeinated and kind of hungover, accepting your job or health or relationship because they’re all just alright, and you’re getting by, nothing’s too wrong and you feel guilty and spoiled complaining about your comparatively luxurious life. Don’t let this happen. This is when the wake up calls happen, and we’ll never know what kind of package they’re coming in–but we know they will be tragic. Where on the tragedy spectrum will it fall? God only knows. Don’t test it. Keep dreaming, keep changing and asking yourself what you want, evolve, strive, make that money, spend it on things that are either: honest or make you feel young, like car insurance and plane tickets, and above all, don’t wait. Don’t wait for tragedy. Do it now!
Happy birthday to my Dad, who taught me a lot about all of the stuff I’ve blabbed about today. I love you Dad!