It's pretty amazing how much my perspective has changed since I started riding the bus to school a little over a week ago.
No, scratch that; my perspective hasn't changed, but I really like it. And you know what? I haven't sat in traffic for more than about 10 minutes in the last week and a half. I filled up my gas tank almost 2 weeks ago and have only used about a quarter of a tank since then. I went 2 entire days last week without even getting in my car at all. And I can feel it. It's an unusual feeling, hard to explain.
I feel more like I live in a city, in a place where all the different places are connected. Riding calmly on the bus for an hour each day has made me notice things I've never noticed before, in almost 9 years of living here. Nothing important, just small architectural details on buildings I've seen a thousand times by car, the way certain things look and fit together. I feel calmer and less stressed. I hate Austin much less than I did 2 weeks ago (even if the buses don't, however, actually seem to run on any kind of actual schedule or anything....), and already it kind of feels like a different city. It's weird. Now as I sit at the window and look out, or read a great novel instead of curse traffic, or spend 30 minutes doing homework, I feel really sorry for all the people trapped in their little cars, honking, and speeding, and getting stressed out. Or maybe they're not getting stressed out, maybe I'm just transferring. Regardless, I can't believe I didn't start taking the bus years ago.
This morning I could barely get out of bed. It took every ounce of willpower I had, and I reset my alarm for 20 minutes later and thought, "I'll just drive today, fuck the bus." And went back to sleep. When my alarm went off an all-too-brief 20 minutes later, I slowly meandered into the kitchen to make coffee and start some eggs. When I sat down to eat, however, I realized, "Shit. I don't want to drive to school today." I got anxious just thinking about the deathtrap that is 35, especially during morning rush hour. So I quikly ate, and bounded out the door, trying desperately to still catch a bus that would get me to class on time. And I made it, with only about 2 minutes to spare, but I was very grateful I didn't have to drive this morning.
That's how I know I love the bus. I love my mornings, and if I'm willing to sacrifice 15 minutes of drinking coffee and staring out the window or petting my cat, that means I really, really hate driving to school. It was nice to have that epiphany this morning. And Austin is fucking beautiful in the mornings.