| the stubborn turnstile |

On the days that I haven’t completely made a fool of myself, I buy a lottery ticket.

I have yet to purchase one. Why? Because I embarrass myself on a scarily consistent basis and it usually happens when I’m just on the cusp of feeling good about myself.

Storytime…

Since moving even further uptown (-_____-), my walk to my nearest train is a little trot which gives me time to post my OOTD on my Instagram story (don’t judge me, just follow me). On this particular day, I was really feeling well put together. Everything was colour blocked in just the right way, my sunglasses on, boots clicking on the pavement like I like ’em. What I thought were signs of a good day. As I trudged up the hill to my station, I usually allow my mind to wander to distract from the pain shooting up my calves and the sympathetic glances of the people coming down the hill.

Here’s what my thought process looked like:

I hope the train is on time…

My shift doesn’t start for an hour and a half…

Maybe I should get some food…

I hope there are no bombs today…

I shouldn’t think about that…

When is autumn getting here?…

Is it too warm to wear this blazer?…

Is my white shirt not white enough…

Why do I wear these boots all the time?…

I wish I had money for new boots…

Maybe brown ones! Ooooo…

I get paid next week…

There are so many things I have to pay for…ugh…

Did someone just text me?…

CLUNK.

You may be wondering, what on earth just happened!?

Let’s backtrack.

As I am thinking all the thoughts, I have crossed the street, placed music on, journeyed through the station, approached the turnstile, and threw all my body weight into it. It didn’t turn. Wanna know why? In the midst of all my thoughts, it never dawned on me to actually swipe my MetroCard to get on the train.

That ‘clunk’ was the sound of my shame.

What followed was swift. Eye contact was a capital crime. I swiped my card, did not look behind me, did not look around me, did not pass go, did not collect $200. I scurried down the steps and tried to ease my mind that I’ll never see these people ever again.

As I journeyed downtown, it dawned on me that I was completely focused on everything other than what was around me.

So #adulting lesson number four: be in your moment.

In our culture, we have all our moments carefully documented and curated to the point that we neglect to let things just be what they are

Recently I started getting into mindfulness (the irony is depressing). It’s kind of the opposite of meditation. Meditation has you focusing on a singular thing, like breathing. Mindfulness is being aware of everything around you. It’s actually kind of nice. It gets you out of your own head to see that you’re actually alive and there are people and things around you. As a person who turns inward during times of stress or anxiety or wants to capture every moment for others to enjoy, it’s oddly peaceful. You essentially “wake up” and smell the proverbial roses without snapping them or running them through a VSCO filter.

My experience (which I have dubbed the Turnstile Incident), while hilarious in retrospect, kind of woke me up. It was my focus on everything other than what was around me that literally caused me physical pain. Those metal bars hurt like hell when you recklessly throw your whole body into them.

So the next time you find yourself in a moment, whatever it may be, let it be. Just swim in it till your fingers get all pruney.

Till next time! I’m just here waiting for Amazon Now to deliver me Steven-sized plastic bubble…

This is the fourth installment in the #adulting series! Yay! Make sure to like and share if you enjoyed it. I’m loving all the responses I’m getting from these peeks into my clumsiness. xx


Steven Sharpe Jr is a personal stylist & social media manager in New York City