The Optimist Commuter

I’m 20 years-old and I don’t have a driver’s license. Yes, really. I know, I know… I really should get one. Most teens nowadays are ecstatic to get their license at 16 years old while there’s me over there in the corner lacking all means of motivation to get one. As much as I’d like to blame my nonchalant attitude when it comes to driving, I really believe my environment and situation is what conditioned me to act this way.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do know how to drive. I may not be an expert driver but I know the basics of driving a car (or at least I’d like to think I do).

So, until I desperately need a license (and I guess having an available car I can use is important too), I’ll probably be reliant on public transportation. I know it’s an inconvenient plan because…well…I don’t know, maybe one day I’ll be put in an emergency situation where I’ll need to drive to some place but I can’t because I was too stubborn to get a license and I start regretting it as the zombies get closer to me and… (I’m kidding you don’t have to worry about driving legally during a zombie apocalypse xD)

Anyway, as much as I love and am grateful for public transportation, it can be an absolute pain sometimes. But if it’s the only thing you have, there’s no point in complaining about it constantly. It does a favor for you after all!

I like to think of myself as the optimist commuter. I may not be all the time (hey I’m human and can express negative feelings too!) but I try to be and I noticed it makes all the difference during the ride. It makes my commute a lot brighter and definitely more refreshing.

For all those who don’t know, I’ve been taking a train to get to my internship almost every day for the past summer and will be doing so most of the autumn season this year. Back when I was in community college, I was very reliant on the public buses to get to class and home. So yes, I have quite the experience with commuting.

I could tell you all the countless stories of missing stops, bad weather, foul smells, lateness, overcrowding, no seats, losing items, and all the frustration that comes with commuting that I’ve been through because I don’t want you to think public transportation doesn’t have its downs. Let’s be realistic here! A 40-minute late ride can set you up for a bad mood throughout the rest of the day and YES, it happens!

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But, that’s not what this post is all about. I want to share with you the better sides of my experience with public transportation, and trust me there are a lot.

My most favorite thing about commuting is time for thought. Yes, commuting requires waiting, walking a distance here or there, and travel time. Having all this extra time gives me more opportunities for daily reflection and thinking. Life can get extremely busy, but when you’re commuting, you have no control over how fast your ride is and you don’t have to pay attention to the road because you’ll always be the passenger. I really, really believe people should take a few minutes of time in their busy schedules to just stop and think. Reflect on your life, or really just enjoy and appreciate the ambiance. If you commute in the morning, it really helps to set your mood for what is to come later in the day. One of my favorite things to do for my “time for thought” is just count my blessings or a small prayer. I’m a strong believer that gratitude is strength and if you “charge up” enough in the morning, you’ll be amazed how it will affect your way of thinking, in a good way, throughout the day.

All the other great things about commuting is being able to listen to music peacefully (you’ve got to admit there’s just something sooo soothing about listening to your favorite tunes during a ride!), meeting and having memorable conversations with strangers, witnessing acts of kindness, finding adventure, taking-in good weather and sunshine, and many many more.

Many times I’ve come across people who needed help during my commute, either asking for directions or dropping/forgetting something and I let them know about it. When you come across those moments, it kind of makes you feel a little special that you were there on that day, in that specific place, at that specific time.

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Everything simple you will learn to appreciate or take the time to acknowledge during a commute when you really put the effort into it. On the good days at least. And I find myself having more good days than bad. (My #1 advice to all you commuters is this: bring an umbrella. Always remember to check the weather! This will increase your chances of having better days xD)

I know in the future, I most likely won’t be using public transportation as much as I do now (but who knows, maybe I will if it’s cheaper/more convenient!). So until then, when I’ll be driving my own car (yay adulthood goals!), I’ll be sure enjoy every moment I have as a public transportation commuter—to always try to see the glass as half-full.

Like with everything in life, it really is about your attitude towards everything you face. If commuting is something that will be a big part of your daily routine, even if it’s temporary, then give it your best effort to make it a good experience. Don’t dread it… really, don’t. I promise you it really isn’t all that bad. Give it shot and find out for yourself 🙂

Be safe and enjoy life’s simple moments my friends.

Your commuter comrade,

Chloe  

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