I got lost in Washington, DC on the metro train!! I couldn’t remember which train my cousin had told me to get on so, being the adventurer I am, I got on the first one that stopped. I would figure it out if I just kept moving, right? I mean all trains lead to the same place eventually. Well this one didn’t. In fact I was moving in the complete opposite direction of the airport that I was supposed to be headed towards. Dammit, why couldn’t I have just wrote down the directions she gave me.
To much pride?
I mean I only had one train change. She had repeated it a million times, orange to yellow, orange to yellow. I knew I wouldn’t forget. Yet, here I was on the green train not the yellow one. Immediately, once I realized my error, I found myself falling back into my old ways of self-blame. The shame and guilt of my mistake immediately came rushing at me, as I sat trying to remain composed. All the “why hadn’t I‘s” or “how could I have been so stupid‘“, you know all those things we say to ourself to make ourselves feel worse, swirled through my head. I wanted to break down right there on that green train and cry. In front of all those strange faces, on a train headed somewhere I didn’t want to be.
Then my shame turned to rage. I mean who the hell color codes a route then paints all the damn trains grey. Didn’t they realize how confusing that would be for tourists!! Why don’t they announce before you got on the train, if you want yellow this is the wrong train?! This wasn’t my fault. I would blame someone anyone else. Why isn’t this person beside me helping me, can’t they see I’m in distress?! How come they haven’t asked me if I was ok? Where is the conductor, doesn’t he know he has a lost passenger on board?
I went through these emotions so fast that I commenced to have an anxiety attack right there on that train, as the train speed towards “next stop Navy” something, not towards Ronald Reagan International Airport. I’m sure on the outside I looked normal, but inside I was screaming and crying my eyes out. I had to keep reminding myself to breath, just breath Tonia.
I had to regroup. I couldn’t just sit here. I was moving farther and farther away from where I was supposed to be. I shouted in my head “GET OFF THE TRAIN”. Finally after 3 stops, myself listened. Surprisingly once I was off the train regrouping was a whole lot easier than I thought. Why was I even so stressed less than 5 minutes ago? This time I was more diligent in finding that yellow train. When the next train came, I checked the sign twice before stepping on and before stepping off I made sure I was going the right way.
Even with my “detour“, it only took me about 25 minutes from the time I left my Cousin to get to the airport. I promise you it felt like a lifetime had passed since I had stepped foot on that green train.
From orange to green to yellow, I was lost but getting found wasn’t as difficult as I imagined it would be. 😊