In the past forty-eight hours, I’ve become a human catastrophe. I’ve burned myself and dropped my breakfast twice in one morning, crushed my fingers while trying to lift my bike, and, while trying to push around a box too heavy for me to lift, caused it to split open, so I spent twenty minutes in someone else’s living room trying to transfer all the contents to a new, hopefully sturdier box. I’ve covered myself in scrapes and bruises from packing up the contents of my room and shuffling it all over campus, filled my lungs with mold spores while trying to clean a trash can, and forgot my bags in my friend’s car twice. Then there was the bus ride.
I don’t actually know why I’ve managed to become so incompetent lately, (maybe it’s the stress of packing and traveling all on my own?) but I’m hoping it can be remedied with lowered stress levels and a decent amount of sleep. Until I can get those two things under control, I’m taking solace in the fact that most of my messes have only impacted me, and for those that haven’t, I’m eating a big slice of humble pie and apologizing for as long as anyone will listen. Beyond that, I’m reminding myself that the power of human kindness does in fact appear to trump whatever mess I may cause in my stint as a human catastrophe… as evidenced by the rest of this post.
Human catastrophe: Lugging no less than six bags, I managed to make it through the door to the bus’s baggage station (on the third try. To be honest, it was only because someone held the door for me). The lady at the counter looked very, very unimpressed, which I really couldn’t blame her for, as I was impressively disorganized. I tried to check two of my bags, which costs extra, and she essentially said: nope, not happening. She had me weigh them, and I was thinking, ok, this is it, it’s over; I was so afraid that they would go over the fifty-pound weight limit and I would have to buy a box to ship my stuff in.
Human kindness: To keep the cost down, she told me to strap two of my lightest bags together, so I only had to pay for one instead of two extra bags. When I told her I didn’t have anything to do that, she hunted around for zip ties, and strapped the bags together for me, going out of her way to help me out.
Human catastrophe: I got a nosebleed on the bus ride back home, and so I sat there desperately pawing through my backpack in search of tissues one-handed, trying not to bleed on anything. The person sitting next to me started, and immediately grabbed their bag, pulling it onto their lap, which I totally couldn’t fault them for; I wouldn’t want a stranger to bleed on my stuff, either.
Human kindness: Instead, they pulled out a packet of tissues, handing them to me. They suggested I lean my seat back so it would be easier to tilt my head back to stop the bleeding. Once I managed to mop myself up, they double-checked that I was okay, and made sure I had water in case the nosebleed was caused by dehydration.
Human catastrophe: I had too much stuff crammed in it to get my backpack closed, so when I left the bus and tried to grab my other bags from the storage space, first my sunglasses fell out, and then my glass bottle fell out and shattered, too. Thankfully, it only splashed on my luggage, but people were making comments about how it smelled strange (Kombucha isn’t alcoholic, but boy does it smell like it). At this point I was ready for the earth to open up and swallow me whole.
Human kindness: Someone mentioned that it was probably because my bag was half-open, and I said: I know, I’m so sorry, I couldn’t get it closed. She offered to help, and I mumbled: oh, I mean, you can if you want, thank you, but I’m not sure it can close. Before I could take the backpack off, she stepped behind me, trying to close it. A man walked out of the crowd to help, too, and between the two of them they got it closed. Then after I thanked them, and began picking up the broken glass, another person stepped forward to help.
I’m still so grateful of these random acts of kindness; they helped make a stressful experience better, and really helped me get through the day.
Please feel free to laugh at my incompetence, or at the very least, feel better about yourself that you’re not as much of a mess as me. If, on the other hand, you are, then at least there’s someone else out there who gets this. Maybe knowing the other side makes us more likely to show human kindness when we see someone who needs it, too.
I have no idea what I'm doing.