Day 15

Not every day will be filled with sunshine and butterflies, that’s for sure! In retrospect, this day could actually be made into a stand up comedy routine.

It started with a meeting. The meeting itself was great; I met with WOODTV’s general manager, Diane. Diane is a very intelligent and intentional woman, and she offered up the chance to meet with each intern to help prep us for job interviews. My meeting with Diane was scheduled during a time that I was later assigned a shift.

I was supposed to go with the crew to the Grand Rapids Public Museum, however, after talking to my supervisor, we arranged for me to meet up with them at the museum as soon as the meeting was finished. The meeting, was extremely helpful, but as I triumphantly left Diane’s office, I looked at my phone screen in horror: 2 missed calls…one from my supervisor, and one from a producer. Not. Good.

It turns out that they needed a camera brought to the museum to start photographing for publicity, so when my meeting went longer than they expected, they sent someone on an errand to run the camera there.

Feeling sheepish about being late, I hopped into my trusty silver mini van, Pearl, and jetted toward the museum. Unfortunately, this required taking a cruise on the freeway…something that I try to avoid at all costs. Sucking in a deep breath and pulling on my metaphoric big girl pants, I pressed down the gas pedal. I would be lying if I said I didn’t utter girlish squeals of terror as I tried to muster up enough assertion to cut in front of the other drivers to make it to my exit.

Once I got the museum, I had to do something else that stretched beyond my comfortable: parking garage parking. After a struggle with parking and trying not to get whiplash from being overly cautious about walking alone through the parking garage.

I felt accomplished once I made it to the museum, walking into the crew’s meeting (late), and trying  to absorb the details of the shoot as it wrapped up. I had though I was ready to snap some pics of the event, until one of the workers looked over at me and said (practically in slow motion) the words that I could not have possibly dreaded more at that moment: STARBUCKS RUN.

Now, this might not seem like a big deal, because interns are supposed to do mundane tasks such as these, right? Not Kelly Doles. Now, this is not because I am too good to do Starbucks runs…it is because I am too directionally challenged to do Starbucks runs. Asking me to drive through downtown Grand Rapids is like asking a dizzy mouse to scuba dive and bring back a box of glowing gold treasure…it just doesn’t happen. I’m pretty sure I gulped audibly as they handed me WOODTV’s credit card, and sent me on a mission to retrieve “One grande skinny chai please”.

Strapping on my courage, and removing my sensibility, I made my way over to the parking garage, and had some maj. struggs as I pulled out of the garage. When I had to insert the credit card into the exit machine (I have no idea what they are actually called, so that title will have to do for now), I had a mini panic attack when it swallowed up the card. Laugh all you want, but this was the first time I had ever used one of those machines by myself, and I swear it was mocking me as I shrieked, “It ate the card, it ate the card!”

You would think that after I made it through the gates of the parking garage, things would have improved for our heroine, me, but unfortunately that just isn’t how our story goes. After leaving, I had to rely on my good friend Siri to be my guide to the Starbucks. I wish I could say that my common sense led me to select the accurate Starbucks, but that is not the case. To my astonishment and panic, I ended up, once again, on the dreaded freeway, squealing [out of fear] the whole way.

After making it off of the freeway, I breathed a sigh of relief, until I drove past the hotel I was told to park in. Trying to turn around, I pulled toward a gallery’s turn around. My luck had gotten worse when a trolly lined the entire turn around, congesting it completely. Where did I end up, besides stuck right next to the trolly. “Boy, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place”, I thought. I’ve never understood that phrase before, but at that moment, it was exactly what danced into my thoughts, and boy, was I stuck. The only glimmer of optimism was the badge of pride I allowed myself to wear briefly for understanding that phrase.

Besides that…no optimism. To make it worse, a pair of teen skaters who had been shooting footage of themselves grinding up the town on their boards had laughed and turned their camera on me as they stood behind Pearl as she struggled to squeeze through.

Oh the humanity. I finally decided, “Ain’t nobody got time for this”, and drove over the curb to my left. A woman inside the trolly looked at me with an expression I could not decipher from shock, horror, or amusement. I didn’t have the willpower or the time to care; I was on a mission, and that skinny chai was waiting for me; it was the like princess in need of a hero, and I was the dysfunctional knight in shining armor, who would probably never save her.

Refusing to give up, I tried to bolt back to the hotel. I could tell you about the way Siri failed me again, and I ended up on the freeway again, but that would take too much time, so we will skip that part.

Finally, I pulled into the Marriot’s valet parking drive, and quickly leapt from the vehicle and sprinted down the street. Calling Evan out of my shame and horror for a quick pep talk, I may or may not have tripped in a pothole while crossing the street, and it may or may not have been filled with water, splashing me and almost twisting my ankle. Oh dear. I continued running, trying to gather any sense of motivation pushing me toward obtaining the chai. As Evan tried to motivate me, I was approached by a drunk man in a trench coat and a dress hat, asking me for money.

Muttering a quick, “Nope, sorry, I’m a poor college student, have a good day!” I bolted past him, and breathlessly ordered the skinny chai while the kind barista whipped up my taunting trophy. Grabbing the chai, I thanked her, and jogged delicately as I tried to avoid sloshing the coveted skinny chai. To add insult to injury, I was greeted by a frenzy of texts from the producers, saying, “If you don’t have it yet, just come back”. Oh the humiliation and agony. My free hand clumsily danced across my iPhone keypad, “Nope, I’ve got it, on my way back!”

I tried to look professional, nonchalant, and casual, as I strutted self consciously past the valet boys to my out of place and slightly rusting mini van. I could feel their teenage judgement as I ducked into my getaway vehicle and zoomed back to the museum.

Replay the description of terror I described about the freeway as I made my drive back. Some details cannot be rewritten too many times, or I just might break down as I write this…I’m hanging in here right now trying to keep it together.

When I got back (insert that goofy French Spongebob narration voice saying, “One hour laterrrr….”), the security guard had the audacity to tell me, “No outside beverages can be taken into the museum miss.” Summoning all expressions of deflatedness, I looked at her with sad eyes, and struggled to maintain my cool, “Ma’am, I’m an intern…an intern who was sent on a coffee run that became a wild goose chase…I have gone through some things to get this skinny chai…is there any way to make an exception.” She eyed me and thought. “It’s for the host!” I added on quickly. That one really got her.

“Fine…I guess I can make an exception…” she started. “Are you sure?” I asked, inflating with hope and astonishment at my first glimmer of good fortune. “No, I’m not…” I decided to run while the getting was good, before she could change her mind; “Thanks Ma’am! Bye! Have a good day! See ya!” How awkward do I get under the pressures of becoming assertive, turning against my gentle nature? Very.

Painfully so.

I celebrated bringing back the skinny chai, only to have it sit unconsumed until after the event was over.

Major bummer. Major.

After getting back into the car, because of my placement in the parking garage, I ended up having to wait in my car for 20 minutes as the backed up line blocked me from backing up.

My patience was tested. When I rummaged for my debit card and escaped the dark concrete parking prison cell, I filled my lungs with fresh air, and uttered a prayer as I was greeted once again with my all too familiar nemesis, Miss Freeway. After exiting that horror-inducer, I pulled into the WOODTV parking lot. If a van could resemble a dog with it’s tail in-between it’s legs, that’s what my vehicle must had looked like.

I was so incredibly drained, embarrassed, and done with the day, when I looked up.

I titled my chin to face the golden sun stream that had caught my attention. I was face to face with the most beautiful sky, a soft evening blue streaked with brushstrokes of glimmering gold.

It took my breath away. At that moment, I knew that God was there. Perhaps he was giggling at me as I tripped in pot holes and squealed with terror while facing ordinary, every day tasks, but he was there. “Light Up the Sky” is a song that holds special significance to me. It says, “light up the sky to show me you are with me. I can’t deny that you are all around me. You’ve opened my eyes, so I can see you all around me. Light light light up the sky; light up the sky to show me you are with me.”

Looking at the glowing sky like a fly romantically enthralled with the light of a front porch light, I realized that God was lighting up the sky with his beauty. God had given me a reminder that he is good and life is worth celebrating, even in the hardest of days. It was like he was waving at me, saying, “Yo, Kelly, you-who! I’m right here! You just have to notice me!”

So, without further ado, here is what I have learned today:

Look for the beauty in life, and when you find it, celebrate and express your gratitude.

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