Friday, March 20, 2015

Is This Real Life?

Sometimes I feel like Dorthy, waking up in Oz. 
I expect to wake up from this weird city life, and wake up in rural Pennsylvania. Things sometimes seem weird here.
Yesterday I was at the DMV, updating my license and I skipped a huge line because I made an appointment online. I only spent 10 minutes at the DMV, which is unheard of, and the people I passed coming in were glaring at me as I walked out with my paperwork in hand. 
I was never the super-organized person, the one to have all their ducks in a row and be able to skip past all the other people in line. I would be the person to show up late, and have to fill the documents out there, and return to the back of the line. 
I had about 2 hours to kill, so I enjoyed a almond pretzel from Auntie Anne's and found some flats for $7 in Old Navy. I browsed around Marshalls at all the home decor and planned to return when I could actually spend time looking around. 
In high school I had never even gone to a mall, until my best friend brought me one weekend. It was all too much. Even in college I bought all my clothes at JC Penney and everything else from Walmart. I could never imagine being the type of person to just go shopping, how extravagant. 
I left for work and saw a troupe of 'dancers' the next car over. So, when the train stopped and the made their way to my subway car, I got up and went to their old one. Got a seat, and looked into the car I just left at all the people trying to ignore the blasting music and contorting school-skipping kids. Then a family of tourists asked for directions and after helping them I was profusely thanked. 

When the subway reached my station I was already positioned at door that let the staircase I needed to make a quick exit. Because it feels pretty awesome to walk up a staircase alone in front of the 40 people behind me attempting to squeeze up it all at once.
I am still shocked that I am living in a large city, navigating it and knowing where I am going. Knowing to avoid that block because all those people are just leaning on the buildings. Never will you find a group of 'strangers' casually doing that... unless maybe this is in Midtown, and they are waiting for a ticket line to something open up. Knowing the tricks on the subway to avoid the smelly subway car, the dancing kids and how to make a quick exit to street level, I feel almost like an expert. 

I never used to feel like an expert. 

I never used to have confidence in my ability to live on my own, let along here. I still often have 'out of body' experiences, where I am running to catch my train and I realize that the old me would've been shocked. How do I even know where I am going? Know not to walk down that block? How did I learn all this? Well, I guess the short answer would be that Tom is a great teacher, but the better answer is that I just never thought to try new things. This real life still surprises me.

I'm sure that this is normal.

When someone becomes a parent I'm sure that they remember back to when they were praying to become pregnant, shell shocked when the child they longed for was placed in their arms. How do they do this, be a parent? Then they suddenly are doing it, and doing it well.

Maybe you were hired at an amazing job and are shocked that your minimal qualifications got you there,. Maybe you think that the suit you borrowed from your roommate is fooling the person hiring you. But then you say something useful during a meeting and everyone looks up, and your realize that you can do this.

Maybe you are like me and moved somewhere very different, the one place you never planned to live and even told others you would never move to.

So tell me...
Something that you are brand new to, that feels overwhelmingly different?
Is there anything that you feel like you've conquered?
Did you ever get flashbacks to how it was?

Every Friday hundreds join the Five Minute Fridays writing flash mob, 
where bloggers get together to write on a common topic or specific word. No extreme editing; 
no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. 
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
Five Minute Friday - 4


  1. Loved reading this post! I am also from a small rural town. JC Penny was the only store close by, so you and 5 of your classmates frequently showed up in the same shirt! It was like a whole new world when I went to college and actually had shopping options!

    1. JCPenney definitely did something right when they settled in rural areas. Talk about having the entire market at their disposal :)

  2. Very fun post for this Friday morning. My hubby and I are working through the possibility of building a house and moving, but here in the same town. We put in an offer on a lot today and are meeting with a builder...I feel like I'm in a state of fear and suspense!

    1. I don't know about you, but change invigorates me (to some degree). Of course, when in the thick of it, all that sounds good is being home, relaxing and knowing what comes next. Good luck in deciding what to do in this arena, that definitely sounds exciting!

  3. Oh I loved this post! I am a small town girl - born and raised, and while I love the big Cities - the thought of navigating them on my own causes my pulse to race just a bit! (Thank God for smartphones!) In fact, I just booked my first flight that I will be taking on my own... that requires changing planes at a layover and I know I can do it but it feels overwhelming if I allow fear to seep in! (Such silly things can paralyze us if we let them!) And this line: " I just never thought to try new things. This real life still surprises me." Amen... I am so thankful for my adventurous husband because without him, I may still be living life this way! Great post!

    1. I can't imagine living before cell phones. I just got mine replaced after 10 days without one, and I was nervous that the trains would shut down (like sometimes happens because of cold weather) and I would have trouble finding out what was still running. I'm not a fan of getting everything set up with flying either, all that stress I suppose :) My husband has expanded my horizons more than anyone else. One month into talking, he convinced me to drive to Philadelphia (!!) after I missed the bus to visit her. And, when I got lost I called him for directions. I guess we married the right men!

  4. The last time I had the feeling of being overwhelmed was when I visited New York. I'm not really a big city person and I felt as if I was in a foreign land. We got terribly lost but some people helped us find our way on the subway. What an ordeal. Sounds like you have learned your way around.

    1. I would feel lost too, had it not been for my training :) And when I first moved here I was always asking strangers for directions :) Usually we're happy to help!


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