Details of life deserve full attention

Details+of+life+deserve+full+attention

Jessica Parsons

Monday morning, I decided to wipe the sleep from my eyes and find the courage to attend class at 10 a.m. I didn’t wish to, but the worry of failing from missed days clogged my thoughts and I rolled out of bed at quarter to. Sliding open my blinds to greet Marquette clouds, I threw on some makeup, heated up a Hot Pocket and made sure to remember my coffee.

Taking my usual route to school, I was ready to circle the parking lots in search of a spot. Though I was running later than usual, at least I was going to show up and sign the attendance sheet, and at that point, it was the only thing that really mattered.

I circled up and down, in and out of every alley-way of the designated parking lots for my class in Jamrich for 20 minutes. Nothing. My $140 parking pass only saves me from getting a ticket once I’m in a spot. It never finds a spot for me.

Some people sat in their car on their phone, getting ready to leave but wouldn’t back out. Cars like mine hunted for spots, creeping slowly around each bend like a game of sharks and minnows. After 20 minutes, I left. It was no use.

I cursed the field of grass that uselessly lays out in front of Jamrich where there should be another parking lot. Students ignore the oddly-placed sidewalks that criss-cross throughout the lawn. They don’t even lead to building doors. It’s a wrinkle in time to cut through the grass, because when the average student is running late, a lovely stroll through the Jamrich courtyard doesn’t exist.
I started to think I should have just stayed in bed and not even bother. Sleep always sounds better anyway. But then why did I spontaneously feel the need to go that morning, when normally I wouldn’t have?

I turned out of the school and drove down the road, leaving NMU in my rearview mirror. I thought, “At least now I’ll have more time to work on my presentation in two hours.”

I rolled up to a four-way intersection at a stop sign, and continued after my stop. Except it wasn’t a stop sign, and I shouldn’t have gone forward. It was a red light, and I slammed on my breaks. Before I knew it, a truck rammed into my bumper and my head slammed back against the seat. The traffic light turned green.

My first thought was that my head was hurting and my car just experienced its first accident and I had no idea how bad it looked. It was my fault. Why did my brain treat the red light like a stop sign? That’s not how driving works. I flipped on my caution lights as if to remove me from other drivers on the road. Tears streamed down my face out of fear and confusion. The man in the truck rolled down his window, drove up beside me, and suggested that we move to the next building over, and we would consult each other there. This was good, our cars were still drivable.

The hardest part from there was finding the words to explain what in the world I was thinking at the red light. I tried hiding my tears, but at that point, it didn’t make a difference. The man explained that he was just turning right at the intersection and figured I was too. Makes sense.

It took me an hour to calm down my emotions and think through the situation. It’s easy to not pay attention to the road, or be observant because of the everyday hustle that students like myself get used to. We drive the same route. We jam out to the same songs. We microwave the same breakfast. We develop a routine that eventually finds a way to take away our focus and distracts us from living in that moment.

It’s a good thing there was no damage. But if there were, the lack of focus wouldn’t have been worth the potential risen insurance cost. Pay attention to the stop signs. Pay attention to the small things. Try to observe your daily life, especially when you’re driving on the road. The small things deserve our full attention, or we risk that they will go unnoticed completely.