Well everyone, needless to say, it’s been quite the week. Not only did many of us experience our first earthquake, but also, the suspense and anticipation of one of the greater natural disasters to hit NYC in over 20 years.
Now, I’ve had anxiety dreams before—in particular, finding myself in my high school French class realizing that forgot to prepare for a presentation that counts for 90% of my grade—but I’ve never had anxiety dreams about waking up in my apartment to find things like Clint’s guitars treading water, next to Janice Huff and Chuck Scarborough. (The 12+ hours of hurricane coverage Clint and I have watched on tv may be to blame.)
At the heart of it, I don’t think my anxiety is unwarranted. There was a lot to learn this week about survival, and the fact that I don’t know much about it.
Clearly, I’m not alone in this, seeing how Gothamist began one of its posts after the earthquake:
New York just had itself an earthquake—the first one that many New Yorkers have ever felt—and you know what we learned? Most of us aren’t exactly sure what the hell to do in an earthquake.
After feeling the tremor, not only was my first instinct to smile at my coworkers while silently freaking out, but Friday night, while on our way to stock up on necessities for the approaching hurricane, again, I felt paralyzed by my sheer lack of experience when dealing with potential natural disasters. It may have also been a reaction to watching people waiting in lines that lapped around empty shelves, but I don’t think it’s good that my initial response was more like, Do I have to?? rather than strategizing. Clint, more level headed in times like these, helped steer me toward the canned goods aisles.
By the end of the day, our kitchen was stocked with the following:
Two packs of Goldfish crackers
One sleeve of Pringles
Two large bags of Tostitos tortilla chips and salse (hot and mild)
Three cans of beans
Six cans of Bumblebee solid white tuna
Two bottles of Classico tomato sauce
One jar of extra chunky Skippy peanut butter
One loaf of white bread (we found and scavenged it)
One bag of Twizzlers
One case of Poland Spring water
Two 12 packs of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
One six-pack of Victory Hop Devil IPA
As I was closing the cabinet above our stove, reflecting back on our hurricane survival kit (of sorts), I experienced massive déjà vu. All of a sudden, I was back in fall 2002, lounging on the blue bean bag chair in my freshroom dorm, taking a moment after stocking the shelves above my bed.
Now, nine years later, even though won’t find Easy Mac, labels of most of the same processed goods stared back at me, and I experienced a slight epiphany—I do have survival skills! Little did I know that the same skills I acquired while living on my own for the first time would guide me through a natural disaster. Not only did peanut butter and Twizzlers aide me through all-nighters after the dining hall had already closed, but they still serve as life-savers while I wade through the confusion of what to do in an emergency situations.
There’s been a lot of learning this weekend. Learning about how to prepare correctly for an emergency…learning how sometimes, there are times when I have to wait on a long line…learning how Clint has a lot more common sense than me…and learning that if I just take a moment and give myself some credit, I know more than I think I know.