Last night, I came out to my car from an open mic in Santa Monica only to find I had a $53 ticket waiting for me. I made a mistake. I thought my meter had an hour more than it did. It was just an honest mistake. But it didn’t make the ticket suck any less.
I’m not exactly swimming in extra cash right now. I’m strapping up for an intense summer of car payments, credit card payments, and a few weeks missing work to go home and visit. A ticket is not something I have in the budget right now.
I could choose to be very worried or upset and let the whole thing ruin my mood/day/week.
Or I could choose to have a little perspective on the situation.
While I’m not going to pretend that I was jumping for joy when I saw the ticket sitting on my car, I took a breath and thought about it. I was mere feet away from the ocean (a place I love) in one of the most beautiful cities on the planet (that I have worked hard to get to and continue to work hard to stay in). I just spent the past couple hours hanging out with like-minded spirits (comedians) and got to do what I love most (perform). I’m currently driving someone else’s car ( a close friend while he’s in Japan because he knows my card needs some work I can’t afford at the moment). He even gave me his credit card to give it a tank of gas for the month, even though I would be the one driving it. I was heading to another open mic that night because I’m lucky enough to live in a world where the chances to perform are plentiful and the ceiling for what you can accomplish is limited only to your imagination. I’m young. I’m healthy. I’m free. I know what I love to do and I get to do it often. I am constantly meeting new and interesting people and learning more about them and myself daily. I’m extremely lucky to live the life that I live, and am grateful for the joy and energy that surrounds me. I have a job. I can pay bills. I can pick up more babysitting if push comes to shove. I’m lucky to know some great families out here and have worked for some awesome references in the past. I’m also lucky to love children and not mind taking care of them for a little extra cash to help me pursue my dreams. I get to laugh all the time. I live in a world filled with people who love laughter and love to make others laugh. I also have awesome friends and family are are hilarious in their own right and give me unwavering support.
A $53 is just a minor inconvenience in a world filled to the brim with positivity and magic.
I’m lucky. And I know it.
And one little ticket is not going to screw all that up.
Besides, as I took the ticket off my window, a guy with a sweet, friendly golden retriever came up and started a quick conversation. His dog attacked me with kisses and affection and I loved every moment of it.
So jokes on you, City of Santa Monica. Your ticket didn’t ruin my day at all.
But let’s not make this a habit, ok?