My daughter helped me face my fear…. of public transportation

Santa Cruz Buses are Good for the Environment Too!
Image borrowed from: http://forum.bustalk.info

My 6 year old daughter has been asking me to take her on the bus for a solid 2 years now. Apparently there is something that seems glamorous about going for a ride on a huge blue box. You can see the bus stop from our living room window, so there is no hiding the bus swinging on by every hour, on the hour.

I had been avoiding taking her on the bus for 2 years now. However she gently reminded me of my promise I had made 2 years ago. I realized I had no more excuses. It was time to conqure my fear, and get my ass on that bus.

Now you may be asking yourself, “What the hell is her problem? Why would she be nervous about taking the bus?”. Well let me shed some light on the ways of my manic brain. The last time I took the bus was 20 years ago when I was 14 or 15 years old. Back then (the 90’s if you may), the only people that rode the bus were junkies, homeless, mentally disabled, and teenagers. Do you know how scary teenagers are? Fucking scary!!!! Ok, but really. The bus smelled like piss back then and had a strange dirty, sticky, vibe to it. Even as a kid, I only rode the bus maybe 1-2 times in my life. Anywhere I needed to go, I could ride my bike, walk, or get a ride. And when I was 16, and got my license, you better believe I felt too cool to ride the bus.

But here I am now, 34, and about to take my precious babies on what I thought would be cesspool of germs and goober. But my baby gets what my baby wants. (enter sarcastic tone). One fear I have is pretty logical. I was afriad I would get on the wrong bus and end up driving to Africa let alone across town. I did some research online and found our route. I also found the bus fare amount and made sure I had exact change. $2!!! What a deal!! Of course in my mind I kept thinking, “What if I don’t have enough? What if the coin gets stuck on in the machine and everyone yells at me? What if, what if?”

So we had our money, we had the time we needed meet the bus, and we had our route. We were all ready to go. So here we are at the bus stop. I had a 6 year old, a 21 month old in a sling attached to me, an umbrella stroller, a backpack, and a bag for our library books. Here we come!!! We got on the bus with flying colors. Phew! No one even yelled at me one. Go figure!

I was pleasantly surprised once we got settled in a seat and was on our way. The buses must have been remodeled somewhere in the past 20 years (Who would have thought?). The seats and floor was clean. There was no unpleasant smell. I felt comfortable and safe. There were no crazy people. Don’t get me wrong… There were people of all walks of life, shapes and sizes, etc. But mostly college students, some elderly, and lower income people. But was nice to experience a different side of life that I don’t think about on a day to day basis. And it was nice to just sit back and not have to worry about other drivers, traffic, etc. Granted it took twice as long to get to where we were going, vs driving myself. But we weren’t in a hurry and just had fun riding the bus.

Sometimes it takes our children to help push us beyond our bubble and comfort level. I certainly did not want my daughter to share in my own fears without having her experience life for herself. Most of my daily fears are not based on reality, but my own perceptions and judgements. Which isn’t healthy, but my own shit that I deal.

But that is saved for a new post. For now, all I can say is, YAH for public transportation!!!!

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7 thoughts on “My daughter helped me face my fear…. of public transportation

    • I think the bus should become a regular fun event for us to do. It worked out really well for us. You can see the bus stop from our house. So for $2.00 you get a fun ride anywhere you want. ANd now that I know the route to take downtown (which is where the fun stuff is), I think we will do it again.

      Plus I think as my kids get to be teens, and perhaps are not driving yet, I think having them comfortable taking the bus on their own is really important. They can get to where they need to be without me!

      The bus felt super safe too. It may have been the time of the day that we went. But there were not any sketchy people on the bus. And if they were to get lost, or on the wrong bus, they can easily call us to get help.

  1. I loved this. As a driver for Santa Cruz Metro, it’s nice to hear about the positive experiences that people have on the bus 🙂

  2. “One fear I have is pretty logical. I was afriad I would get on the wrong bus and end up driving to Arfica,”

    Yeah, that sounds logical.

    I believe it’s spelled Africa…not Arfica.

    …and what’s a “suss-pool”? Did you mean cesspool?

    Imagine this, if you can. Nobody bought you a car…no one else pays your bills for you…you must work and and your job is across town requiring you to take a bus. This is called “real life” for many, many people. Your story is an embarrassingly whiny tale of white people problems….sheesh!

    • Thanks so much for the clarification of my choice of words and spelling. That is what I get for launching a post at the tail end of a napping baby. And thanks for commenting. You probably haven’t read my blog much, which is why you don’t really see my sarcasm and general tone.

      The point of my post was that I had preconceived judgments (from experiences as a child) of riding using public transportation from 20 years ago. And how riding the bus, after not riding it for some time now, was a very positive experience. An experience that removed all my original judgements. Thankfully as growing in Santa Cruz, everywhere I personally needed to be, I could ride my bike, walk, or get a ride.

      Yep you are right. I do have “white people” problems, and voice them. But that is what blogging is all about. Journalling about my personal experiences, however “white” or petty they are. It is my opinion, from my walk of life. Thanks for your opinion from another walk of life.

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