02 March 2012

Too Soon?

It's 11:36 pm. Right now I'm supposed to be on a Greyhound bus en route to New York City for DIY Days, a free conference for creatives that's one of the things I look forward to all year.

Literally at the last minute, I grabbed my bag and walked off the bus, eating a non-refundable ticket.

I just couldn't do it.

Sure, a 7.5 hour bus trip across Pennsylvania isn't exactly a good time, but it's nothing I haven't done a dozen times before. But as I sat on the bus, it more and more felt like a terrible idea. I guess you could call it a panic attack. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn't.

Maybe it just was too soon to do any traveling.

I'd like to think that if the bus wasn't full, or if Greyhound had provided the outlets they promised, or if the bus hadn't been scheduled to drop me off in Manhattan at 6am, giving me almost 4 hours to kill, then I probably would have been ok, but maybe not.

Maybe it's just a terrible idea to try and do something like that so soon.

All day I kind of knew it was a bad idea, and if my ticket was refundable, I probably wouldn't have even gotten to the bus station. I even tried to get it refunded at the counter before I got on the bus, but the Greyhound agent didn't seem to care. Eventually, I came to the realization that not only had I stopped caring about the ticket refund, but that'd I'd gladly pay money to not have to go. That's when I knew I had to walk off.

So I got the driver to open the door and got off the bus. He warned me that they were about to leave and I told him I didn't care. It was the most sure I'd been of anything all day.

It was absolutely the right move. And while it'll suck to miss DIY Days, it's worth it.

Filmmaker Lucas McNelly is spending a year on the road, volunteering on indie film projects around the country, documenting the process and the exploring the idea of a mobile creative professional. You can see more from A Year Without Rent at the webpage. His feature-length debut is now available to rent on VOD. Follow him on Twitter: @lmcnelly.