I went to NYU, so I lived in New York for four years. During that time I feel like I really mastered the art of crossing the street. I would walk with ease, going as soon as the walk signal flashed. Sometimes, when the road was clear, I would even go when it wasn't flashing. I felt smug and confident, looking down on all the other pedestrians who weren't as quick or brave as I was when it came to road crossing. But after college I moved home to Connecticut and along with my move came a loss of crossing the street confidence. I began to cower when I saw cars. I would second-guess myself. I would start crossing then stop, often staring right into the driver's eyes with a look of pure terror. This would greatly upset them and cause frequent problems. Fortunately, I'm back in the city now. I'm still working on my street crossing courage. Here is what I think now when crossing the street.
Don' t Walk Sign: All right. Break time. Stop with everyone else. You go you law-abiding citizen. You are doing things right. Living with caution and a little bit of fear keeps things fun and safe.
Walk sign: You go girl. You are crossing the street with the best of them. Walk without fear. Walk tall. Just like the flashing walking figure, this is your time to shine.
Flashing Don't Walk Sign: Oh no. Should I stay or should I go? There aren't cars, but what if one just pops up. I can't handle this. I'll just look at my phone, pretend to text, don't talk yourself. Remain calm. And now it's a stoplight. Nicely done. Return to normalcy.
Walk Sign and Don't Walk Sign: Oh my god. What is going on? Does everyone see this? Is this sign trying to kill me? What has the world come to?
Don't Walk Sign, but there are no cars: Just be cool. You got this. One foot in front of the other, just keep moving. You are living on the edge and you are making it to your destination in record time. I'm proud of you.
I may not be as quick and confident as I once was but, I'll get back. The street signs are always changing and so can I.