It was late in the evening. I could have gone home. I was fatigued in the way a woman of reasonable privilege could be fatigued. I have one job, no mouths yet to feed and a low-stress life in the traditional sense, if you discount my subsurface anxieties. My husband encouraged me to stop by the event I was invited to. He said "see all that you can see."
I took the F by myself, in the right direction and didn't miss my stop. The memory of my train blunders from a few weeks prior still etched into my memory. I missed my transfer to the Path, had to backtrack to get to it, missed my train home by a minute, waited an additional hour in Hoboken, and finally missed my stop in Clifton, half asleep mindlessly scrolling, ending up in Paterson with no cash for a cab, at midnight no less. My mom's nervous words, always have a key in your hand if you have to use it at the top of my mind. She was robbed as a young woman in the city years ago, so I understand her reservations. Our parents and loved ones bring with them a set of life circumstances and do their best to prepare us, while letting go enough so we can see and feel on our own. Thank you ma.
Back to Paterson: The kind Lyft driver welcomed me into his warm car and I made it home to a snoring husband and cats begging for food, vowing not to get lost in the palm of my hand again, as I sit here writing, not paying attention to my surroundings. But situations lead us to unintended destinations, better than we could have envisioned. A Wharton waitlisted high school student that found home on the hilltop at Georgetown. Nursery school assistant reject turned hostess, that found a partner in the last month of my college career. A fearful commuter that the big city beckoned.