I’ve been commuting for years now. Ever since I moved from Woodland Hills to pursue higher education, I’m used to trekking all over the place. When I lived in Altadena, I commuted to both Calfornia State University, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. Internships, social activities, and classes always felt so far away because of the traffic. Even 15 miles easily meant 45+ minutes of traffic. As long as I carved out the time to download new music, I was set. Except for when I wasn’t in the mood for new music, yet I was tired of what I already had. There were only so many times I could call my mom to distract me (sorry/not sorry). She probably thought I was really sweet…!
Graduate school was challenging. A professor who encouraged me to apply in the first place explained it was a process of always running after a train that has already left the station. So, I set my priorities and stuck to them to keep my sanity. I put myself care first and my education second. Anything else – even family and relationships, came after. Sometimes when I got home, I had already “adulted” enough that day and could not bring myself to find new music. I found myself snapping in my car. So many BMWs and Priuses cutting me off, people making a lane out of the emergency parking, and swervers on the phone… enough is enough!
Now a year out of school and working “over the hill,” I’m still in traffic. My work is only about 14 miles, yet easily takes up to an hour if not longer until I’m in the actual parking lot, not just the one that develops along any of the routes over. Sometimes Waze sends me on canyon adventures and I’m pretty sure I’ve shaved at least 5 years off of my lifespan as a result from the difficult turns and stunts. It’s safe to say I have a love/hate relationship with Waze.
It wasn’t until a conversation a few weeks ago with a dear friend that I finally found the light: podcasts. It took me until two days ago to finally download some episodes of Snap Judgement, which came highly recommended, and all was right in the world. Over the course of just these past two days, I sat in so much traffic I managed to listen to 6 episodes!
All of these years I was so worried about listening to podcasts and that it would distract me from the road, yet it keeps me more present. I learn so much and I’m home before I know it. The stories are fascinating and if I imagine them as books on shelves in various sections of a bookstore, I probably would not have given them the time of day. Though I do not think I could listen to books on tape, this has opened a new world for me and I look forward to finding more podcasts.
Best of all? There’s so many different kinds! New music, stories, news, and learning a new skill. Check out Podcast Directory to find one that interests you! But, you don’t have to take it from me; just another Angeleno fighting road rage.