September 2003, I was in the midst of 20-day backpacking trip traversing the John Muir Trail, which follows the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney. In the months leading up to this trek I prepared physically and mentally. Although, I had some experience camping and completed many day hikes but never before had I been in a situation where all life sustaining material would be carried in a 40-pound backpack so far away from civilization.
I planned to ride the metro. But the bus came along first.
Settling into my seat, the quiet of the morning commute was interrupted when from the back a twenty-something-year-old man bellowed, “Your ass better be going to [expletive] school,” to a younger acquaintance.
As a veteran bus rider, I knew this could go a number of ways. This one ended up in a friendly embrace.
Maybe you went to college, maybe you didn’t, but you still have a decent job with decent pay.
You have a car, nothing fancy, but it gets you around. Your place is cozy. Keeps you warm in December and cool in July. Your life is pretty good, but you still can’t manage to keep a little extra in the bank, so you survive from one paycheck to the next.