Do you have ant issues?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

This is a story about me, my car, and some ants.
Yes, my car was a (generous) gift from my parents. Thanks, Mom and Dad!!!! And OMG those "shorts." I was like 19 in this picture (taken long before the story below) but STILL. AHHHHH.
My Honda Civic (which I still drive) was my way to get from Bucknell, to home in Pittsburgh, and back. 4 hours east, 4 hours west, 4 hours east, 4 hours west. Wax on, wax off. We got into a bit of a rhythm during my collegiate years.

Well, after my junior year of college, I loaded it all up, packed to the brim with piles of crap from my dorm, and then, rather than do the 4 hours west homeward drive, I went to the beach with some friends, celebrated Stephen's graduation, and then drove it home.

I don't remember the exact moment I saw an ant in my car. Which, of course, was part of the problem.

But somewhere in my car's "dorm stuff baking inside" phase an ant (or two) decided it was a pleasant place to move in. As they do.

I got home, "unpacked" my car (as much as you unpack college stuff when you know it's going back in a few months anyway), and moved on with my life. Or so I thought.

I had seen a couple ants in my car during this process, over the course of a few weeks. Noticed them withoutyou know, acknowledging their presence. I kept my car outside, and ants lived outside, so there were a few ants in my car, so what? C'est la vie, the circle of life, Hukuna Matata, live and let live, whatever. (In hindsight, there were many situations when in I should have embraced a laissez-faire attitude; this was not one of them.)

But I had bigger fish to fry! A summer job promising hours (and hours!) at the scanner! A relationship to build with my now long-distance boyfriend (our first foray with "long distance," which would serve us well for what came ahead), and, you know, a life to lead not involving my car.

But, now that I think about it, my autonomous life was decidedly dependent on my car.

And that's how, when I was getting into my car to go to Starbucks to meet my friends, I noticed that the dashboard was particularly crowded with ants one evening. There weren't one or two scattering across the dash. We're talking more like 50.

And then, for the first time, I really looked. Really looked on the floorboards. In the back seat. In the cup holders.

Ants. Were. Everywhere.

Sorry if this is gross. If it's any consolation, I'm getting squeamish just typing and wiping imaginary bugs off my legs.

I had to stop everything (but my big Starbucks plans!), get my mom (what else does one do?), and start vacuuming those little buggers up. It was so not enjoyable.

So, here's my question: Do you have ant issues? It's not just ants, of course, but an issue, a problem, that you're passively noticing but not, you know, actively acknowledging.

Are you wishing something away? Are you hoping if you ignore it, it will vanish? Maybe it's seemingly minuscule. Tiny! Easily ignorable! Ant-sized!

Still, here's my advice: Just address it.

Because, from experience, most things like that don't just go away. You must work to eliminate them, work to solve them, work to fix them. And, if you just ignore them, pushing them aside and prioritizing other things (there are things to be scanned! And calls to be made! And Coffee to be drank!), these minuscule issues can grow. Worsen. Manifest. Or, in my disgusting case, literally multiply. (Yuck.)

I guess what I'm saying is, I think you already know what most issues are, it's just a matter of whether or not you admit it to yourself. I, personally, think most of us intuitively know things that are problematic —it's a matter of admitting it, acknowledging it, and addressing it. Easier said than done, of course. :) But acknowledging it is the first step!

Happy Tuesday, friends!

p.s. If you think this analogy is stupid, you can still sit down in your car today and think "At least my car isn't infested." :)

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