Another chapter of “things that really happened to me”

22 Jan

Once upon a time, I was a college student in Chicago, commuting my way via commuter bus into the city from my south suburban home.

It wasn’t a fun ride – if you got to the stop too late, you would probably have to stand for 40 minutes.  If I tried to read, I’d get nauseated.  If I did get a seat, the likelihood of someone using my shoulder as a pillow was a slight, but possible chance (and once in a while, a reality.)  But it dropped me off closer to the college than the train, so bus it was.

One day, we had a new driver, who didn’t know the regular driver let us ding the bell to get off before the main stop.  So when I dinged the bell at Balboa, he stopped, but chewed me out for stopping the bus before an approved spot.  It was one of those days where the bus was crowded, I had been standing, and now I was getting yelled at by the bus driver.

Fun times.

I went to walk up the few blocks to the college, in an only slightly sketchy downtown area, and there, as usual, were two bums under the L tracks, panhandling.  Nothing really new.  But I was in a bad mood and flat broke, and now I had them hitting me up for money.  “Got any spare change?” one asked as I passed by.

My 19 yr old self said in an exasperated and slightly whiny  tone “No!”

And then the homeless man who spent his days sitting under the L tracks gave me a big smile and say “Aw cheer up!  It’s not that bad!”

I was slightly mortified.

A homeless man told me to cheer up.

And so I cheered up.  Because dangit, when a homeless man tells you to cheer up, that it’s not that bad, then you listen to that truth and cheer the &%$! up.

this is mah happy face!

this is mah happy face!

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3 Responses to “Another chapter of “things that really happened to me””

  1. Sharon Hoover Weidemann January 23, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    Truth . I was starting feeling a little cranky myself… Finally, one day this week the kids have finally gone to school bc of the weather and then off again tomorrow for a wasted day bc the days missed have messed with the end of the marking period. Anyhow, as I’m guru ping and trying to figure out what to do with my blessed 5 hours I suddenly remember, “this is the day The Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” And so I did. I’m feeling better, how about you? Glad you met the homeless man. Perspective is everything.

  2. gingeralicia88 January 23, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    The public transport experiences sound all too familiar.
    A very wise lesson from a homeless man, that’s one to remember 🙂

  3. Nancy Spivey January 23, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    This was exactly what I need to read this morning. Thank you.

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