Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Bus drivers wear uniforms to show they belong.    Buying new clothes to become a bus driver has brought up my fears about fitting in.   I am afraid that my different background and experiences will cause me to stick out.  I worry that my education, race, and economic privilege will be barriers for coworkers and passengers to see my heart for the issue of mobility.    I wonder how much of this worry is grounded in reality.

Black shoes are a requirement that you wouldn't think would cause anxiety, but as a runner I am admittedly a shoe snob from way back.  I was fretting about which shoes to get and how much to spend. Would they look cool?  Thankfully, New Balance has an industrial line that has a foam model with a sweet look and feel.  I am comfortable in them.  Even more this pair of shoes represents generosity.  My friend who owns the store graciously gave me these really nice shoes as a way to support the mission of raising awareness of the importance of public transportation locally.

I also met a 70-year-old seamstress who hemmed my new black pants and does uniform work for more organizations than I could readily count. I admired the many boxes of badges from first responders to police departments lining her shop.  She told me she loves riding the bus but has concerns about the young people she sees riding. When her company closed its Greensboro store she started commuting to the Winston-Salem store and daily takes 6 buses.  She didn't want to put the miles on her car or deal with traffic. She is simply more comfortable on the bus. She was thrilled for me and prayed with me about my new job.  The black pants will remind me of how she needs a ride to work to bless others with proper fitting uniforms.

My new black shoes and pants represent these stories, make me eager to look for other points of connection, and less afraid of not fitting in.