Buses, Hikes And Public Relations
As my alarm blares, my mind is first to wake up, wondering why I haven’t changed the obnoxious piano riff. One eye…7:00AM, then both. I peel myself out of bed and start my day. After a recent decision to get rid of my car, getting around town became an adventure filled with bus routes, biking and lots of scurrying between the two. On this particular day, I needed to send out a calendar listing for the monthly Wine Walk at Oasis Texas, bus it to a news station for client appearance, and then hike to a nearby coffee shop to work before heading to my nephew’s first swim meet. Time management put to the test.
I tend to emails, advertising requests (which have become less daunting with practice), and get the media alert out. No bounce backs – off to a good start. I’m packed up and out of the door with time to spare in my newest blazer, hair in place and ear buds jamming.
The first bus leaves me about a mile down the road for transfer #1. Sitting on the bench, Black Keys blaring, I look up to see an elderly lady with a blue fuzzy hat, pearl earrings and kitschy jewelry to match, easing her walker beside me. I stand.
“Oh honey, there’s plenty of room for the both of us,” she utters. Her dainty, wrinkled hand reaches in her zebra bag and pulls out a bag of Cheez Its. Like a puff of fairy dust, crumbled pieces fill the air and pigeons swarm. As her face lights up, I can’t help but smile. Bus #2 arrives.
I pick the seat with prime street-sign view to ensure that I won’t miss my stop. After the driver kindly walks a visually-impaired man into HEB, we are eight minutes behind schedule. A crying baby grabs my attention, and then above the wailing child, a lady loudly preaches "I can't STAND women because they're too smart for their own good!" I chuckle to myself, taking it all in, just before realizing that I have, in fact, missed my stop.
Frantically, I pull the yellow string and ask for the quickest way to my destination. Cross the street and two blocks down, another route will head the opposite way. Looking at the time, I’ve got 15 minutes to get to the station on time. What seems like years later, the blue Metro bus arrives, and I hop on.*clink, clink, clink, clink*
At my stop, I fixate on the street signs – Lamar and MLK - check. The sun and my spirits beam until…the hill of death snarls at me with two minutes to spare. I enter the lobby panting, bangs smeared to my forehead, and five minutes late. Now on set, I engage with the producer who shares a similar story about hiking around Austin on his first day, which eases my nerves.
The appearance goes well, and I stroll down the block for lunch and a work nook. I take in Austin's beauty while I snack, work, and listen to a one-man band in peace. A text from my sister - she’s down the street, and I’m off.
I remind myself that through all of the bumps, I’m doing what I love and loving what I do. A new day brings a new challenge, and I’ll chalk this day up to a new obstacle conquered. To all you newbies, embrace the unknown for all it’s worth and always enjoy the ride.