Today was not fun. It was one of those rainy, gray days that are only nice if you get to stay at home and watch from comfort of your sofa with a hot cup of tea. I know, how cliché, a bad day on a rainy day. It was nothing earth shattering bad, no one died, my car is one piece, my personal information is safe, the house is still standing. It was just…not a fun day.
It started off okay. Since I had an early appointment on the school campus I decided to take the dog to day care in the morning and pick her up after my noon class. Everything was ticking right along, dropped her off and made it to campus 10 minutes before my appointment which left plenty of time to park and find the room I needed to be in. I circled that God forsaken parking, both sides, 3 times and couldn’t find a single empty space. Classes started at 9 a.m. and I got there at 9:20 so I knew the odds of someone leaving were pretty slim and I probably spent too much time doing laps. I eventually decided another car doing laps out of the lot in hopes that they would lead me to a different parking area with an abundance of open slots. They, indeed, led me to another parking lot but it was on the other side of campus and it was for employees. I drove around there, at this point desperate for any spot I could get even though it was now 9:30 on the nose and I was officially late for my appointment.
I found a student parking lot behind the employee parking lot and on my second lap around it I saw someone pull out of a spot. I hauled my butt in there as fast as I could…and screamed. It was raining. I was frustrated. I didn’t know where I was in regards to how to get to the building I needed to be. I was late and I hate being late. I pulled out my phone and looked up a map of the school. If it was a bright and sunshiny day I would have had no problem speed walking the .75 mile or so to my building but it was raining and it was showing no sign of letting up. However, the map I happened to be looking at showed me real-time updates of the capacity of some of the student parking garage. There was one right in between the building I needed and my noon class that was at 60%. I put the address into my maps, said goodbye to valuable parking spot and headed over.
After having a melt down in my car and finding my way to this parking garage, it was 10. I was too late, I decided. I couldn’t go walking into this appointment now. I’ll just take the hit and accept the consequences, I decided. So, my new plan was to head to the library, hang out and do some studying. The library was about 2 blocks away and it was still raining. I decided to just put my hood up and go for it. I left the parking structure and realized that I didn’t know which way to go. I went one way, realized it was wrong so I turned around and went the other way, felt like that was wrong and then stopped. I looked down. I was soaked. My hoody was dark from the rain and my bag, which had a rental book and my laptop, was soaked. I couldn’t just wander in the rain and let my stuff get ruined so I went back to my car.
It’s important for me to mention at this point that the only thing I had eaten this morning was a protein bar as soon as I woke up and an english muffin as I was leaving the house so this was probably a combination of low blood sugar and frustration.
I get back in my car and just decide to drive, I need to get out of here. I wanted to just blow off class and go to a movie or go to the zoo, just do something. As I’m leaving the parking structure I realize what time it is…10:15, the first round of morning classes have let out and there are kids every freaking where. Moving en masse through intersections, darting across the streets like deer at twilight. I tenuously navigated through their hordes and as soon as I found a place to pull over, I screamed again. Then I took off and drove.
I was on the other side of the downtown area before I pulled over to collect myself. I didn’t know what to do and suddenly everything was piling on me. I was stressed out and really wanted a friend to talk to but I don’t have friends here, all my friends are in different time zones, I’m alone here and I don’t know how to talk to or relate to these younger kids and I can’t remember the last time I laughed or had fun but I can’t laugh or have fun because I don’t have a job and I have less than $100 in my bank account and the government is closed so I don’t know if that will affect me as a veteran and what if I don’t do well in school and I fail and never find a job and I have to give away my fur children just to get food and everything is wrong. Yeah, it felt like that. Only worse.
I don’t like feeling lost or not in control and that’s how I felt during all this. The Zoo was closed today which almost made me cry because that’s really where I wanted to take solace during this meltdown. I looked up movie times for the nearest theatre but nothing started until the afternoon. I didn’t know what to do. I sat in the private communities parking lot pondering my life and waiting for someone to come tell me to move. They didn’t and I eventually just decided to start driving and see where I ended up.
Where I ended up, after a side trip through one of the scarier parts of town, was back at school. I ended up parking in a visitor garage which completely ripped me off on the price when I left but, it was attached to the building where my noon class was so that meant no being lost and walking in the rain. My morning meltdowns left me exhausted during class and I couldn’t even yawn because my throat was scratchy from all the screaming I did.
After class I decided to walk to the food court to get some much-needed lunch. The rain had stopped and I knew how to get from point a to b and back again so this seemed like a simple enough task and it was. However, everyone else had the same idea as me. The food court was packed, so I turned around and went to my car. There was a little cluster of fast food spots not far from campus so that’s where I was headed. As I sat down in my Arby’s booth with what seemed like a sparse meal of a beef n cheddar and potato cakes, I slowly began to decompress from the morning. I would eat, get the dog and head for the safety of home. I did just that.
Something good come out of today. Last week I applied for a job with a local rehab hospital. It caught my eye because I know I can do all the tasks listed but also because it was part-time and the days they needed someone were the opposite of the days of my classes, it was perfect! Exactly what I’ve been looking for. I got a call from them while I was in class and I have an interview with them on Wednesday! I feel good about this, like this is my job to lose (but I won’t!). Tomorrow will be better.