When I was twelve, the day before summer camp my mom asked if I had figured out the bus schedule.
“Why would have to do that?” I asked my voice dripping with adolescent contempt.
“Because you’ll be taking it.” She said as if it was obvious, which just goes to show snark is genetic.
It wasn’t obvious to me. I’d never taken the bus before and TJ Middle School was two and a half miles away! It might as well have been the moon! Needless to say, I was not happy, and even less so when I discovered that the trip would require a 1/2 mile walk to the bus stop and a transfer to a different bus.
“Why won’t you drive me like everyone else,” I groaned. My mom ignored my wheedling and to add insult to injury, didn’t even bother walking me to the bus stop that first day. Nor was she sympathetic to my tales of missing buses, missed transfers, lates buses, or accidentally taking the express to the Pentagon in the middle of rush hour.
My mom didn’t have time for my guff.
Whether it was her intention or not, I learned how to navigate public transportation and to this day have no fear of hopping on trains and buses from DC to Rome. When I approach new problems, and new skills I think back to how scared I was on that first day and how that fear went away and was replaced with the confidence to ride public transpo like a native.
It reminds me that I’m more capable than I think and,