A most #adventurewithwildheart-y day
This past Wednesday, I had an adventure.
Not just any adventure though; I'd say that my adventure that day was as #adventurewithwildheart-y as it could get.
I wasn't going to share it at first because I'd have to expose how dumb I was - but I guess, here I am. 🙃
(((with some #vickyquotes below for y'alls enjoyment hahhaha - although they might make more sense after you read the full story :P)))
Hmmm. How do I even start this #vickystory.
To put it simply, I went to Ottawa that day for 2 hours.
...Yes, I sat 9 total hours in a mini-bus, 4.5 hours there and back, for a 2-hour stop in Ottawa.
It's a real long story, so...buckle in for a wiiiilddd adventure, I guess~
Let's begin with the straight fact that I am the dumbest person in the world, and I proved that to myself yet again today.
The story technically starts last week, when I spent a full day stressing and researching about an enrollment process at an international university. It was a lot, to be honest, and I got pretty frustrated that day. But point is - I found that I needed to go to Ottawa to get some documents authenticated. The website, which I had probably spent close to an hour reading, gave two options; mailing it in, or going in-person. For efficiency and safety (of my documents LOL) reasons, I decided I'd go on a daytrip to Ottawa to get the process done in person. I considered a road trip with family, or maybe even friends, but I decided to opt for a me-trip ridesharing on a mini-bus instead.
Soo, that morning, after seeing my brother off to his first day of school (!!), I headed off to Ottawa.
My phone was barely charged over the night (my charger sucks okay lmaao) but I had brought my charger with me and reassured myself that the mini-bus would have a charging port.
Welllll - it didn't. More like, the fuse blew so it didn't work XD But I only found out after I had used my last battery percentages to post a song cover on Instagram, book my ride back from Ottawa at 4pm (thank gooosh LOL), and finish listening to an audiobook (Big Friendship: How to Keep Each Other Close - would recommend c:). Literally, as the last seconds of the audiobook played, my phone displayed 1%. It probably wouldn't have lasted the 4.5-hour drive to Ottawa anyway though, so - hehe I chose to indulge in my audiobook with its last breaths.
I realized that maybe it was not the best idea though, when I got to Ottawa at 2pm and remembered that the authentication office was still 2km (~25 min walk) away. The ride had ran behind schedule a bit, so I only had an hour left before the office closed; I couldn't spare the time to walk. Ooops. I had forgotten I'd need my phone for this part of the trip.
Soooo I walked into Chapters, right by the dropoff location, and my hopes came up when I saw a charging port, although it was on a pillar in the middle of the store. I very self-consciously plugged my phone in the port, aware that there were dozens of people walking around and watching me. I hung around that area and paced around, pretending to look at journals and notebooks for 10 minutes before my phone got up to 4%. I had downloaded Uber just that morning and noob-ily opened it up - yep, it was my first ever time calling an Uber.
My Uber driver was actually really nice. We chatted and he shared a bit of his life during the 6 minute-ride. Although it was a short time, I could feel that he really cared about his work and put his all into whatever he does. He wished me good luck and I thanked him before speed-walking to the building.
Inside, I would experience one of the most dumbfounded moments I'd ever feel.
"...You have to mail it in," the security/reception person told me. He pointed to a sign, that repeated his words, how in-person services were closed. Mailing in was the only option.
I realized at that moment that I came to Ottawa for nothing - and I was simply flabbergasted at myself. I double, triple-confirmed with him that I had to mail it, that I couldn't even drop it off at the office since I was already here...and I felt so stupid for missing that memo.
I couldn't believe it. I had literally read the steps on the website over and over and over, making sure I understood the process - yet somehow I had missed that their in-person service was closed? Wow, Vicky. You're aaaactually the dumbest person. How does that even happen? ...Nah, don't ask - because I couldn't give you a logical answer anyway.
Defeated, I asked him where the nearest post office was, and...guess what - it was right back where I came from, just around there. 🤦♀️ Of course it was.
He asked whether I was driving, and I told him I was walking. He said, ohhh but walking will be about half an hour, you should take the bus if you don't have a car. I expressed that I don't live in Ottawa, my phone is dead, and I also didn't have my wallet (ahahhaha long story but yeah I didn't have my wallet on this trip) either, so bussing wouldn't be super feasible.
I had originally planned to walk back anyway though, so I was quite okay with it. The staff then proceeded to explain to me how to get to the post office.
Honestly, he was so kind. He probably spent 10 minutes on giving me directions, very detailed and explained in different ways. He even spent a full few minutes pulling up Google Maps on his desktop and showed it to me. I could tell that he really just wanted me to get there smoothly, because the rest of my day had not gone that way. I was incredibly grateful for the care that he expressed, and genuinely appreciated his help.
I left the building and started my trek back downtown. Walking along the road, I was so...incredibly shook at myself. I felt disappointed, disillusioned, disbelieving, angry at myself, and so laughable.
But you know what - it was a beautiful day.
I had brought my camera with me because helloo, it's not a #vickytrip without my camera hahaha - and so I took some pictures along the way.
I'm not sure how many people know this, but Ottawa was actually a childhood city of mine. My family lived there for a teeny bit, when I came to visit Canada for my first ever time when I was 4 (before we even immigrated). It was the first Canadian city I lived in, and where I had spent maybe a month in Junior Kindergarten before going back to China. I learned how to use chopsticks in Ottawa, I saw my first Olympic Games in Ottawa, I first started pretending I was a dog (lol, long story too) in Ottawa. A fair share of memories to smile back on :')
I actually really like Ottawa :') It's peaceful, not too big nor small, very cute. All of this to say that I had a lovely walk - the sun was shining and the breeze was warm 😌🍃 I was yelling-laughing at myself in my head but I was also surrounded by much beauty. I took it in.
When I passed the place I was originally dropped off at and reached the Rideau Centre, I wasn't sure whether I had also passed the street I was told to turn. I saw someone with their bike by the crossroad, and asked him for directions. After asking where I was headed, he just said "here, let me just show you." - and proceeded to walk with me to the post office. I was so grateful; he was so kind, honestly so kind. We chatted a bit while walking. Turns out, he bikes all around the city every day for exercise, so it was his pleasure to show me where to go. The post office was only about a 2-minute walk, and he wished me goodbye when we reached it. My heart was touched, it seemed like everyone I met had so much love to give.
I must admit I spent likely over half an hour at the post office, trying to get everything sorted out. I made sure I had all the documents, then went in line, and then at the desk I explained what I needed to get done. The lady was very patient with me and worked with me to get everything as perfect as I could and answered my many questions. I wasn't the most glad when she told me that it would take 3 business days just to get to the building (which was literally 2km away) because the mail would have to go to Montréal first just to get sorted back (I know, sadness) - but it was what it was. I didn't have my wallet, my phone was dead, but thankfully I had a bit of cash I keep in my phone case I was able to use. She put the stamps on the package, I thanked her, and it was already 3:50pm when I left the post office.
I had originally planned to take some pictures after I got my documents in, before heading home. With 10 minutes left, there wasn't much time for pictures 😕 Plus, I hadn't even eaten my lunch my mom packed for me.
I hurriedly squeezed in a few pictures on my way back, and got to the minibus at 3:56pm. The driver, after telling me the time, said that if I wanted to charge my phone, I could use the charging port in the car. I was so grateful and I took his offer up. I asked whether I could take the few minutes we had left to sit outside and eat my lunch, and he said of course.
I sat on a concrete block near the minibus, and managed to wolf half my lunch down before we had to go. I did also manage to take a picture of me and my lunch too, haha. It was quite serene actually - sitting there, it was a very peaceful feeling despite the tight schedule and my thwarted plans.
About half an hour into the ride, we parked at the next stop. I went outside and sat on a concrete ledge to inhale the rest of my lunch 😝😋
I was reflecting on all the kind-hearted people I had over the day, and how to not think that the whole trip was a waste. Well, it seemed that the universe wasn't done with showing me the world's kindness:
At this stop, there was another girl my age who got on the ride. Who knew that over the ride home, I would make a new friend :') We started talking, learning about each other and shared stories close to our hearts. I told her about my day (even though I wasn't going to tell anybody at first because I was quite ashamed of myself) and she her life. Her resilience and liveliness was inspirational. She was an incredible person, and I'm truly glad that we had met. Even though I'd only have known her for 4.5 hours, I felt like we had known each other for much longer.
We both got off at STC and spent some more time together before going into our separate rides home. She told me that since I had no friends in Ottawa, that next time I come I neeed to call her, that she'll take me places and show me around - well, you bet I'll take that offer up 😌
Honestly, the day did not go as planned at all and I was majorly bummed and disappointed in myself, but I did see a whole lot of beauty, genuinity, kindness and love along the way.
In money-terms, the day was equivalent to a few dinners out, but honestly if that's what it is - I'll take it.
🚘 the Uber driver who conversed with me and shared 6-minutes worth of his story
👮♂️ the security staff, who spent (not even kidding) 5-10 minutes giving me detailed directions
🚲 the cyclist, who decided to walk with me the last few minutes of my walk
📧 the postwoman, who was very patient with me as I was struggling to get everything sorted on the desk
🚐 the driver, who offered to charge my much-dead phone alongside his own
(even the morning driver, he was very kind as well - he really was)
🙆♀️ and my newfound friend, who shared her story and listened to mine.
-- everyone was so kind.
They touched my heart and were a very bright light in my day of flabberghast.
I was reminded of the beauty in the everyday, and that even if everything seems to go wrong, there will *always* be some reason to smile and some light to let in.
The ordinary is just another word for the gentle magic that lies in the
simple, steady joys of the world.
We just have to let ourselves see it.
Honestly, my day could've gone much worse. People could have been rude, inconsiderate, mean and cold. I definitely consider myself incredibly lucky to have met such warm-hearted people. But also, I think that --
when you allow yourself to see beauty, you will always find it.
I wasn't about to let my trip be a complete waste. Yes, my phone was dead; my wallet not with me; I had nobody I knew around; I dumbly came for nothing; I hadn't eaten since early-morning; my university degree and transcript and other important documents were who-knows-where in the mailing system; I barely got to take pictures. There were so many negative things I could get lost in.
But nah, I wasn't about that.
I let the beauty in nature, in people, in the moment - sink in.
It was peaceful, it was full-hearted, and it was everything I didn't realized I needed.
I had been so used to negative and stressful circumstances recently, that it was such a breath of fresh air.
I felt grounded again; reminded of the good, the kindness, the joys in the world.
I don't regret it anymore 😌✨
For anyone who read this far - thank you soo much.
You don't need to go 397 kilometers away to have a me-adventure. You don't need to have your whole plan upheaved to have an #adventurewithwildheart moment.
You just need to present yourself 💖
(present as in 'present tense', take-in-the-moment present ❤)
Love y'all, dear friends :')
I hope you have an #adventurewithwildheart-y day (minus the plans-gone-wrong) sometime too 😌💕
~ Wildheart 🐾