I did it! I rode the bus. Anxiety about standing on a street corner waiting for a bus would eat me alive every time I thought about it. It might be cold, it might be hot. I might be lonely. Someone might offend me. It might take too long. I knew all of these things to be true about riding the bus. Years ago, I worked for the Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture. Part of my job was to teach students how to ride the bus. Before that, I rode the bus in Greece where I spoke hardly a word of the language. So how had I become so anxious about taking the bus? Was it inertia?
Well, I didn’t mount the obstacles alone. I had a cadre of my Mode Shift Omaha buddies giving me advice. Download this app My Ride OMA. Go stand on the northwest corner of 20th and Farnam. Another went so far as to take my hand and walk me in the right direction. Am I a baby bumpkin? Me? I’ve travelled the world farther than I could have ever imagined. How could I suddenly feel so incapable?
The only thing I can settle on is the importance of laying a new pathway for changing behavior. I returned to my Nebraska home and eventually my love of public transportation became obscured. I didn’t need to ride the bus. I didn’t have to. Now my life is changing and I have to. Not taking the bus will place additional financial and time constraints on my family.
It just so happens, I had a wonderful conversation while waiting for the bus. When the bus arrived, I stepped into a warm, cozy, quiet, and clean space. It reminded me of all my wild adventures around the world. Me, out and about just like the good old days. I’m back! I was so proud I tried to take a selfie, but I couldn’t do it. If you are struggling, I encourage you to take advantage of Mode Shift Omaha’s Ride the Bus with Us program. About once a month, they teach anyone who is interested how to ride the bus. If you are like me and figuring it out alone seems daunting, then get some friendly help. See you on the bus!