Wednesday, July 3, 2013


So this next one is about the workers I've met along my journey this summer.

After Sunday's game, I found myself with some time to kill.  Fortunately, a couple friends agreed to drive down to Seattle and grab some dinner.  This was beneficial for two reasons-- 1) After game traffic of people is INSANE, and there would be no spots on the bus. 2) Pride fest was going on, and there would especially be a low number of spots on the bus.

When it was finally time for me to go home, I had my friends drop me off at my normal bus stop.  I was worried as I noticed that my wait for the bus would be over half an hour, and that I was completely alone. Normally I like being alone, but in Seattle where homeless people lurk around corners, I admit that I was fearful.  And, it's not as though I was in a public setting.  My normal stop is on the edge of the busway, where the traffic is significantly reduced.  Let's say if you screamed no one would hear it unless others happened to be waiting for the bus with you.  So, I quickly sat in the corner of the bus alcove and took out my phone.  I saw some people wandering toward the bus stop and I instantly shuddered as I realized that these people looked a little scary, and they were already threatening each other with coming to blows.  Great. I knew that I needed to just stay where I was and not get involved in anything.  I looked down at the ground as I made up different scenarios. Fortunately, a maintenance truck pulled up and a bunch of beefy looking men hop off with equipment and start working around the truck. What I assumed to be the supervisor walked over to me and started talking to me.  We talked about the Mariners (as I was still in uniform) and eventually about how I'm not from the area and how I got to be where I am today.  It was a very interesting conversation as I started opening up to this construction worker about things in my life.  I told him about how I wanted to be an oncologist, and how I've gone through a lot of cancer around my life.  He shared his own personal stories about cancer with me too, and sooner than I knew it, my bus was rounding the corner.  I looked around to see if the group of suspicious looking people were still around, but no one else was in sight.  The worker said that he thought a woman of my age should always be prepared in Seattle, and that I should go buy some mace or pepper spray in case I ever need it.  I thanked him for the advice, and wished him a good evening.

The next time I ride the bus I will make sure that I have a small can of whatever on my keys.  He was right, and I don't want to ever be confronted in a situation where I'm left defenseless.  I was certainly thankful for the timing of the construction workers that night.  I could only think that someone was watching out for me, and making sure that I was safe when left alone.

Other instances where I have been thankful have been when I've been lost.  I've been lost a few times in Seattle so far, and I've had a few King County Metro workers right there helping me back out.  They are all very polite and helpful, and certainly ensured that I arrived somewhere safely.

Finally I really respect the other working class of people I've met on the bus.  There are some people that work so hard to put food on the table and provide for their families.  It humbles me and makes me determined to work harder.  I know I am blessed to be able to attend a university, and a private one at that.  I couldn't imagine if I had to work two or more jobs just to try to make ends meet every month.  I truly have lots of respect for the men women I see on the buses that look absolutely exhausted, but you know that they have to work these hours to help give their kids a nice life.  To those people I have to say to power on and keep working.  You are the people that make America better, and I congratulate you for your efforts to triumph and power on.  The inspiration that I gather from these people only amounts to some of the strongest determination I've ever felt in my life.  It makes me get to work and want to help people and be a positive person.  If I'm on my way home and I feel this determination, it makes me want to go be productive for the next few hours or not give up on myself like I've desperately felt this entire year.  It gives me hope.

So, to the workers I've met so far, thank you.  To the ones I have not yet met, I look forward to being inspired by your stories, triumphs, and struggles.  I only hope that we can learn more about each other and be an inspiration for the day.

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