For most of my life, I've either lived or worked in small, historic buildings. You know, the ones where you can see the ground pretty easily -- from only two or three floors.
But for the last year and some change I've worked in large, traditional office buildings. The first building I was in had more than 10 floors, I worked on the highest and for the last few months I've been in another building with almost 20. Again, spending most of my day very high off the ground.
So today when the floor, my chair, my desk, the ceiling, the window, and everywhere in eyesight started to sway from left to right all I could think was that today was the day. One week and two days away from my wedding, it was time to die, have another concussion, or something else along those lines.
I can't quite describe all the thoughts that raced through my head as I waddled quickly down flights upon flights of stairs, my legs moving like jelly, in a pair of flip-flops that I happened to have brought with me today. But after I found out that what happened was actually an earthquake, not a bomb exploding, I couldn't help but think and continue to think that I don't know how people in California do it. This just seems too stressful. This is why I don't want to live in California.
I've seen posts kind of mocking the whole thing. But I can't help but wonder if they were posted because it's just how some people deal with stress or the unknown. There are some aspects of it that I can look back and laugh at. But for now, it just seems too early to look at it all as another funny thing that happened.
I hope we don't have another one again anytime soon. Or I'll have to start carrying beer with me everywhere I go.
Carrie Oleynik is a writer based in Baltimore, Md.
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