The other day, I opened the front door, carrying my backpack and lunch bag, ready to hit up a café for the day when I looked down and saw a medium-sized Amazon box.
Without thinking, I let out a shriek of happiness and shouted to my brother, mom – to whoever was in earshot that my order had come in. They were three books that had been chilling in my Amazon wish list for some time now so it was a treat to get them in my hands.
Anyway, I threw my arms in the air in victory and celebrated by myself. Nothing new.
Then I realized, down the stairs, in the little pond in front of our apartment, there were two workers knee deep in the water fixing something. They heard, then saw me.
I laughed in surprise, shocked to find my outward excitement was so exposed. My shoulders hunched up and I smiled in apology and embarrassment – more like a teehee. I felt almost stupid for getting so giddy about a delivery that I had ordered myself.
One of the workers laughed and smiled. Then he said something that made me laugh more wholeheartedly.
It’s alright to be happy.
Moments like that kill me.
That moment of humanity connecting, coming full circle. Maybe that’s a dramatic interpretation of such a small moment. But I think it’s the smallness, the fleeting, unexpected quality of the moment that makes it what it is.
It was completely spontaneous and it was so genuine. I didn’t need to know who he was, and vice versa. But he saw and responded to my expression and being with his expression and being, with what was already in him and it made me feel fuzzy and validated hahah. Fuzzy because it was such a genuine thing to hear, especially from an unexpected and unknown human being, and validated because I felt like I had all the right to be happy with whatever the hell makes me happy.
Damn, am I easy or what? So easily amused and pleased lol.
I remember another moment like this, back when I was training for my marathon. I was out near Lake Tahoe for work and was on my after-work-run, struggling like crazy trying to make it back to the hotel. It was all incline in the end, and the altitude was not helping. I felt bloated and unsexy, focusing on one step at a time so I wouldn’t bail entirely on the course.
A biker came down the road, opposite of me. He was an older gentleman, with white hair, I think. He yelled out, Nice stride! and kept chugging along. I can’t remember if I laughed or smiled weakly or yelled a thanks back at him.
But that, to me, was my signal to keep my ass moving and forget any thoughts of slowing down or walking. It was one athlete encouraging another athlete, one human being validating the other’s efforts and journey. Maybe I’m being naive haha but it didn’t feel weird or sleazy.
It all happened in 2 seconds. And it was all I needed. It was enough to raise my energy and resolve. Crazy, right? And these human beings have no idea that their blurting out something would affect the other human being – me – til now, to the point she’s writing about it days and months later.
That’s the craziness and beauty of humanity. When we’re touched, we’re touched. And on the flip side, when we’re hurt, we’re hurt. It reaches within and does something to us. It’s part of our humanity to crave it. And it’s also a part of our humanity to run from it, repel it.
What part do we want to play for our fellow human beings? The kind that opens others to greater, deeper, higher interactions and vulnerability? Or the kind that closes off, breaks, and rejects?