Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Making Everyone's Day Better

The truth is that I don't love going to Seattle.

I'm more of a suburb girl than a big city girl. I like big parking lots and Target. Not so much skinny one-way streets and a need to know how to parallel park. Which I don't. Also, I hate stopping at stoplights on giant hills where I am petrified that I am going to back into the person behind me when I switch my foot from the brake to the gas.

Also I'm usually lost.

And there are a lot of crazy people in big cities.  I don't mean "mildly crazy" like me.  I mean, actually crazy.

But, today, I needed to go to Seattle to work out something with my daughter's passport.  So, to Seattle, I went.  But, since I had to be there anyway, I decided I'd make a morning of it.  The plan was to do my business at the Passport Office and then walk down to Pike Place...and then walk back to go home.

Gratefully, the Passport part didn't take very long -- which left me in a pretty good mood.

It was at this point that I met the guy that started my project. He shoved his way out the door of the private side of the passport office, and smacked the elevator button while running his hands through his hair.

"Tough morning already?" I asked him tentatively.

He smiled at me tightly as we both got on the elevator. "Yeah. The side you came from is only half of it..."

"I'm sorry," I offered. "It's not your fault that we all procrastinated getting a passport till the last possible minute."  As the doors opened again, I patted him on the shoulder. "I hope your day gets better."

"Thanks," he said.  "No, I mean it.  Thanks."

And at that point, I decided I was just going to make everyone's day better. It was roughly a bazillion block walk from the passport office to Pike Place... and roughly the same distance back. So I decided I was going to find at least one person on every block and I was going to do something to make their day just the slightest bit happier.

I made a point to "see" the people asking for spare change.
I complimented lots of people on their hair, their outfits, the beautiful color of their shoes.
I smiled at a lot of people.
I said Hello to all the cops and security guards standing outside downtown buildings.
I made small talk with people at crosswalks.
And even just inserted myself into a conversation and reassured some random girl that no, she wasn't being irrational for being upset when people treat her like an idiot.

And you know what... Seattle wasn't so bad.

Also I found cool stuff!  Did you know that there's a waterfall there? And an old time fire engine museum? And that UPS was started there?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Banging at the Window: Lessons from a Bug

Fifteen minutes age, some sort of very buzz-y bug flew into my house through the open door.

And for 14 minutes and 30 seconds, I have watched it across the room, trying to fly its way out of a window that won't ever open. It thinks there is freedom on the other side if it could just fly hard enough, fast enough, high enough.

It just keeps trying and trying. The left side? The right side?  Down low? Up high? It's tried every bit of that window... and still it remains stuck inside my house.  Separated from what it wants by a pane of glass.

As I've watched it try ever so hard, I am struck by how like that bug I can be.

I am struck by often I bang myself against walls that I think I want to climb. Bridges that I think I'd like to cross. Roads that I think I'd like to travel.

And I try so hard.  I try so hard and, so often, to no avail.  The walls won't budge. The bridges collapse under my feet. The roads are too tangled with brush to make any headway.

I am so wrapped up in shoving what I want into reality that I don't stop. I don't stop and look around.  and I never see that what I really want is already here. That the road to where I want to go is already behind me.

That if I just turned around, I would see it. I could follow it.

And I could get to where I wanted to be.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Never Good Enough

I always felt like I wasn't good enough with her.  --
Or that she thought I wasn't good enough.

She always had to be smarter. She always had to be wittier.
She continually took the credit for things I had done.. and I let her because the only person it hurt was me.

If I had a story, she had one that topped it.
If something good happened to me, it was because of something she had done.

If I ever tried to keep something as just mine, she'd guilt me until I gave her that too.

One day, I said "I'm sincerely sorry that I'm not good enough for you..."

And I walked away.

Not because I wasn't good enough... but because I knew that I was.

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