Last night, a few of my friends and I decided to go to a hole in the wall Karaoke Bar. I rarely drink, so I literally got drunk after two IPAs. I forgot my wallet in my mom’s car, so I grabbed it and got a ride to the bar from my sister.
Fast forward to this morning: I woke up at 6:30 to head over to downtown San Diego for my job. Downtown is about 45 minutes away from where I live, and I had to be there by 8:30. I was super cranky, because I only slept for 4 hours. I definitely felt like it was a t-shirt and jeans kind of day, didn’t do my hair, and didn’t put makeup on. I’m always late, so I was pretty stoked to be ready by 7:00 and to finally be somewhere early. I was about to head out the door and could not find the keys. Then it dawned on me; I left the damn keys in my sister’s car. And of course today is the first day since the big bang that my sister decided to go surfing at 6:30am. She didn’t answer a single call, so I decided it was time to face reality and call an Uber. Uber rides are either super awkward because the driver never speaks or breathes, or they are super annoying because the driver never shuts up. It was the ass crack of dawn, AND I had to pay $40 for this ride, so my crankiness exponentially increased.
So my Uber finally shows up, we’ll call him Sam, and I was just not in the talking mood. But we had a whoppin 45 minutes together, and I didn’t feel like having an uncomfortable drive in silence. But we started talking, and I loved it. I learned that his wife is a yoga teacher, I followed her on Instagram, I learned about his life, what he loves to do, family, bonded over our love for San Diego, and talked the whole way there. I had the opportunity to learn about a total stranger’s life and an opportunity to gain perspective. To my surprise, the ride was neither awkward or annoying. 45 minutes later, I arrived at my job and had to say goodbye to Sam.
I have to be CPR certified for my job, and training today was scheduled from 8:30-12:30, but the instructor said that training will end around 11:15ish. So I texted my sister and she said she wouldn’t be able to be there until 11:45 at the earliest. GREAT. So after training, I decided to walk around the very interesting and vibrant city of Hillcrest, CA. I’ve never explored down there before, but I found the CUTEST coffee shop. It was a little Italian coffee shop that served paninis, desserts, and gelato. I ordered a cold espresso drink that had a splash of sugar. The lady taking my order was the absolute SWEETEST and asked if I wanted whipped cream. I try to avoid artificial sugar as much as possible, so I said no. But when my drink came out, it had whipped cream topped with some coffee beans. I’m not one to return my orders if they come out messed up, so I decided to drink it. And OH MY GOD. What an INCREDIBLE drink. Here I was, in this quaint and adorable coffee shop alone with my thoughts and my planner. I don’t get much alone time or down time, so I soaked it all in. I made up some workouts, people watched, and just encountered some extremely sweet people there. None of this would have happened if I had my car and had to drive down there and back myself.
I started off my day in a bitchy mood and left Hillcrest with such a positive attitude. I truly do believe everything happens for a reason. This story may not seem like a big deal, but the joy I get from encountering kind people is indescribable. It’s the little things in life that fulfill you for long periods at a time. Don’t find happiness in material items or money. Look around you, talk to a stranger, or do something you normally wouldn’t do. Happiness comes from appreciation, gratitude, and love. The best part about unexpected situations is that a lesson is always to be learned. Today, I learned that I need to take more time to myself and to smile and say hello to a stranger, rather than pretending to be on my phone to avoid an awkward encounter. This week, I challenge you to talk to a stranger. You never know what stories you’ll hear or what lessons you will learn. Who knows, maybe it’ll change your life.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
― Leo Buscaglia