I woke up too early and I couldn’t fall back asleep. It was last Wednesday. I left the house before 6 AM, maybe 20-30 minutes earlier than normal. I couldn’t believe how dark it was. It’s amazing, the difference between 6 and 6:30 is like night and day. Also, the days are getting darker now. Summer is coming to a close. Mornings aren’t so humid anymore.
In retrospect, I should’ve waited. I shouldn’t have rushed out of the house, intending to get a jumpstart on my work day. I should have just given it some time, enjoyed a slow morning with my cats. But no, I was feeling especially anxious and impatient that morning, like most mornings. I would pay the price for my impatience. Looking back, I can see that the universe is teaching me the value of waiting… and the consequences of rushing.
Jumping into my car, I was still processing how dark it was. Driving my normal route, a car passed me and flashed their lights at me — I thought this was odd. People only do this when your brights are on, right? Of course my brights aren’t on, I told myself, without even checking. I stopped at Starbucks for breakfast — I typically go once, maybe twice a week before work. Breakfast is my favorite meal that I don’t mind splurging on. So don’t shame me for that.
So close to work, I notice a cop car. No big deal. It’s a little weary, as I’m the only person on the road this early in the morning, and I watch him make a U-turn in my rear-view mirror. No biggie. And then, as I make a left turn, he does too. Next thing, he’s on my tail. I’m not that nervous because I’m going the speed limit. I’m not breaking any rules.
And then he flashes his lights. I pull over, baffled. I’m actually genuinely curious to see what’s wrong with my driving. I scurry to grab my paperwork, still half asleep, and realize I have no idea what any of these papers are.
He says, “you’re driving with your brights on.” Oh my gosh. I don’t even believe him right away until I look myself. It was just so dark this morning! I had no idea! I was warned by another car, too! Even worse — I don’t have any of the right paperwork and my inspection is expired past a month. He asks “have you ever been pulled over before!?” He definitely thinks I’m an idiot. I told him, “only once, a really long time ago.” That was 2018. Ha, ironic, because on my way to work I was playing “top songs from 2018” playlist on Spotify. What are the odds!?
Anyway, I count my blessings that he gave me just a warning. I didn’t deserve that. I mean, driving with brights on is a simple mistake, but all of the paperwork I was missing and such was far, far worse. So literally, the second I get home from work, I book an inspection appointment. The following day, I wait two hours at the dealership (the waiting room is very nice and bougie) and also renew my registration and obtain a copy of my insurance.
Okay, now I’m set. Now, I kind of want the same cop to pull me over so I can show him how quickly I got my shit together. But not really.
Oh wait, let’s go back to Wednesday morning. Getting pulled over wasn’t the only bad part. The parking lot was much emptier with it being so early. I pull into the nearest spot and spend about five minutes on my phone, sitting in my car — I’ve got about 25 minutes until work to kill.
A car pulls up next to me blasting “play that funky music, white boy!” Suddenly, I hear banging on the car window. I look up to see this man, well into his mid-40s, banging on his window and screaming “YOU STOLE MY SPOT!!!” I really want to say that he was at least half-joking, but in the cringeworthy honest truth, he was genuinely mad at me. I give him an awkward laugh and duck my head down until he leaves.
So, I walk into work, and he’s at it again. And remember, it’s only about 6:10 at this point. He screams again, “I CANT BELIEVE YOU TOOK MY SPOT! I always park there!!!” I said calmly, “oh, you do?” He goes, “YES! THE THIRD SPOT!” The third? “YES! Ashley* parks in the first spot, Emma* parks in the second, and I park in the third.” (*Names have been changed, obvs.)
He then goes on a long rant about how he has to park in the third spot and how his day is ruined now. Maybe a part of him was joking? Like, I really want to believe that it was supposed to be a joke. But no, unfortunately, this 40 something year old man was screaming at me for “stealing his spot.” It’s a regular parking lot. There’s no reserved spots or anything. I also overheard him, later in the day, tell another “someone stole my spot.” It genuinely ruined his day.
Now I’m left to ask myself, why did I get to work so early? Why? Then I got philosophical with myself, as always. When does rushing things ever help? Is the universe teaching me the implications of rushing? Is there value in patience that I am overlooking?