Something happens every year after my birthday….I start reviewing my life and find that I wish things were different. Actually I don’t just do this on my birthday. I do it all the time, over and over and over “woe is me” I should’ve, would’ve, could’ve myself to death.
I wasn’t even sure I wanted to write today. I started typing many times only to erase what I had written and stared at a blank page.
I’m spending time contemplating the choices I’ve made and the things I did and didn’t do with my life. I never had my “dream job”, I didn’t travel much or find interest in fine arts, I don’t have any hobbies, maybe I should volunteer more, why am I not losing weight?
As I was reflecting about the negatives and having yet another poor me pity party – something happened….
I felt a glow deep down inside, I was remembering some of the random acts of kindness that came my way and people I’ve been lucky enough to meet over the years because of my not so perfect circumstances.
Yesterday as I waited for the bus, I ran into a guy, a fixture in my neighborhood. He is a bit of a religious fanatic…always preaching about God. Yelling at passersby that they are all going to hell and how they need to stop sinning!!!
As I walked by, I smiled at him, he approached me and asked for a cigarette, then a light…reminds me of a line from THE GAMBLER by Kenny Rogers, it’s a song I know by heart lol.
The Preacher is tall and very pale with a fedora on his head and a long trench coat, holding tightly to a bible in one hand and waving his finger in contempt with the other.
We had a chat and smoke together as I waited for the bus. He told me he was preaching as a way to deal with his addictions, it is giving him a purpose and reason to get out and about everyday. Instead of getting a fix, he comes to the same spot everyday and preaches.
I shared with him a story about when I was so broke I couldn’t even afford a pack of cigarettes, I was a single mom on welfare with a gambling addiction on my way to a Gambler’s Anonymous meeting in Downtown Toronto and as I passed this guy, he asked for some spare change. I said “My friend I can’t even afford to buy myself a pack of cigarettes now, I’m sorry I can’t help you”. I was shocked that this guy bumming change took me to a convenience store and bought me a pack of smokes. I remember being so moved and astonished that someone who was suffering from unfortunate circumstances, would help me.
It wasn’t the first or the last time that I was amazed by human kindness and to be honest if I had my “dream job” or better means, I would have missed out on these moments.
Circumstances in life can bring you to places where you are touched by human kindness and although I will probably never be where I think I should be I am always exactly where I am meant to be.
The preacher man shared some of his stories, I gave him some change and another cigarette as my bus pulled up. I sat on the bus thinking about this chance meeting and I couldn’t help but smile.
There are two lessons I need to learn this year, stop procrastinating and live in the moment. I won’t witness human kindness sitting on my couch.
I might never be the person who yells out biblical verses to passersby but I could be the person who breaks out of her shell and goes where she needs to be.
For my forty-seventh year on earth I hope I am more engaged with people, to try new things and to make no excuses for my choices.
In my teens I felt awkward, In my twenties I felt judged, In my thirties I felt alienated, In my early forties I felt obligated.
Now at the age of forty-seven I feel liberated, like a true Aquarian/ Horse I need to stretch my legs and run. I need to stop analyzing and simply breath. Let the winds of change take me where I need to go.