Late last week, for the first time since living in LA, instead of dealing with the aggravation of 405 traffic, I opted for the city bus. Despite some bumpy planning which included being disconnected twice from the routing operator, my journey was not only smooth, it was spiked with adventure, delight and surprise. It included a short walk through my neighborhood upon which I was greeted with several kind hellos from neighbors I never knew I had. At the first of two bus stops I encountered brief waits at, I met a guy named Jeremy. TDH (tall, dark and handsome) Jeremy takes the bus every weekday morning to his law firm where he is a junior counselor specializing in children’s defense. On the weekends Jeremy buses it to the beach to indulge in his fave pastimes - beach volleyball and paddleboarding. He does have a car – a restored ’67 mustang. After getting the down-low on Jer, I hop my bus (he hops another) and take a window seat. The bus travels an unexpected way – a way I’ve never been, in all this time. I discover a charming little tea shop, a rock church, a direct bike path to the beach and not one, but two thrift stores.
Soon enough we are at my transfer point. While waiting for the next bus, I meet Stefanie who picks up on my lost vibes and helps confirm I am in the right place. Our casual banter quickly turns into her spilling her heart out about her last/lost love (I have that effect) and we chat about it all the way until I deboard, eight stops later, with Stefanie’s heart a little more healed and lifted when we met, about ten miles prior. I get off the bus, just feet away from my destination, only about fifteen minutes later than I would have, had I driven, wondering to myself if Stefanie and Jeremy would make a cute couple.
My trip reminded me that in dating, the less you try to control the journey, the better off you are. Although my bus took a less direct path than I would have if I had chosen to drive to myself, I saw streets and shops, parks and cafes that I never had before. Since I didn’t have to focus my attention on the road, the radio or really anything at all, not to mention the bus traveled at a pace slower than I drive, I saw LA up-close and personal and noticed details that had passed me by for four years. Waiting at the stops made me less isolative than in my car life and the result was meeting two interesting people, one of which I was able to help.
Here’s the thing, no two love stories are ever alike and since it is impossible to map yours out anyway, you might as well relinquish the control a little bit and become open to deviation. So this week, get out there and explore. Expose yourself to new places and new people. Start small by simply altering just one thing about your routine and the rest will follow. Re-route, detour, take a pause where you might not have otherwise, go a little slower… use your peripheral vision… be open to new possibilities…even if you get lost, that’s another place you’ll find, and who knows who might be waiting at that stop.
Live and love largely,