On Sunday, I left Chicago to return to Columbia, Missouri. The day began with an auspicious start of rain and gloom. It could hardly begin to foreshadow the absolute nightmare that day would become. Not only did we board an hour late, but we had to switch busses with our luggage in St. Louis and got stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic an hour outside of Columbia. We literally stopped moving for almost twenty-five minutes. To top it off, we arrived about two hours late. Plus, I got motion sick. Awesome day.
You may think I am just ranting about the pitfalls of the Megabus company, which I am. You can be sure they got a nasty phone call from about five disgruntled college students in my row alone, but I did manage to learn something about myself throughout the ordeal:
I possess very little patience.
If you ask my family, you will find out that this is not breaking news. I get antsy waiting in lines, and woe to the restaurant that keeps me waiting an hour for my meal. I am not necessarily happy about this personality trait. We all imagine ourselves to be relatively good people, and it is difficult to realize our shortcomings. Yet in a sense, realizing that I am an extremely impatient person allows me to actually improve myself. If I am aware that I cannot stand long bus rides with no leg room and uncomfortable seats, I can better adjust and compensate so as not to make the ride a living hell for my neighbors.
Am I virtuous for my self-analysis? No. But I do feel that if we all took more time to look at our behavior, we could lessen the negative effects we have on others. In economics terms, we do not take externalities into account. So often we let our bad moods and bad days wreak havoc on our social relationships. We end up hurting the ones we love and making the situation all the more unbearable. If we can monitor our own actions and their effects on others, we could really live a more pleasant life.
Though the day was a complete waste, it was a bonding experience of sorts to suffer with my fellow Fifth Floor Mark Twainers and storm into the building huffing and puffing about our adventure. I was not in the best of moods, but I was trying hard to put on a good front so as not to put a damper on the happiness of my floor-mates. Everyone was excited to be reunited and thrust into the holiday season.
In the end, we unpacked, commiserated, and ordered some pizza. After almost ten hours of travel, a soggy sandwich from the Huckleberry Express just would not cut it.