Admittedly, I am not always Little Ms. Sunshine. I rarely get angry or stressed to the point where I take it out on someone else in a negative way, but it happens. I try to confront situations as they happen or soon after, and remain calm in the face of chaos. But that’s not always possible, and so when I’m feeling hurt, disappointed, frustrated, or fearful, which are my equivalent of angry, I tend to internalize those feelings until they’re too much and they manifest in the form of an eye twitch.
It’s that time. There’s a lot going on in my life that I can’t seem to keep up with and my normally calm and peaceful demeanor is stretched and my eye is on its second week of twitching.
In a somewhat related incident, my phone, which had been acting up for over a month, finally broke a week ago. I’d procrastinated taking it in for repairs because I just couldn’t find the time, and it resulted in a week without a phone, and a fight with FedEx yesterday, after which I declared that I would be writing a very nasty letter to them in addition to my Facebook post and Tweet about and to them. That would show them! How dare their customer service rep be so rude!!
Frustrated with the phone and other situations in my life, negative thoughts running circles in my head, I convinced myself that a little retail therapy was in order. I went to buy a pair of shoes, left the store, and sat down at the bus stop to wait for the bus. Coming in my direction was a man, I’m sure he was in his 30s, but his well-worn and dirty face and clothes made him look older than me. He looked at me, and I thought, “Oh shit. Here we go.” He stopped in front of me, got down on one knee, bowed his hand, gestured with one hand, proclaimed me a princess, blew a kiss in my direction, and said, “God bless you, beautiful.”
I smiled at him, and said thank you. He walked a few feet to the crosswalk, waited for a red light, and walked into the street with his cup, asking for money. The light change, and he returned to the sidewalk just as an older, heavier lady crossed with her shopping cart. I’ve seen her and her shopping car a few times before and always thought that life got the better of her too. I got up and gave her my seat. She sat down, and the man came over to her.
“Hey, Mrs. Flores, how are you?”
“Are you okay? Need anything? You seem to be out of breath.”
“I’m fine. It’s just cause I walked fast because I saw the bus coming.”
“Okay. But if you need anything, let me know. Hey! Are you gonna be around tomorrow?”
“I don’t know, why?”
“Cause I found a picture of me and your son. When we were in school in Ms. ______’s class! It’s at my Mom’s house. I’ll bring it so you can see it.”
From the rest of the conversation I gathered that she had lost her son, his friend, at some point. Perhaps the reason she looked so tired. I looked at this man’s face and it was as if for a second I could see that child he was referring to. His soul exposed to me by his kindness towards this woman. It was mere seconds, and it could have been just my imagination and wanted I wanted to see, but it touched me.
All of a sudden my worries about my phone seemed so insignificant, and I felt small. Here I was having just purchased a pair of shoes to ‘make me feel better’ about a week without a phone, and there he was, whatever happened to him in his life, he had kindness to spare not only to the lady, but to me. I was heading home to a nice apartment and could contact any number of family and friends to hear my bitching, and he, I don’t know. He’s still in touch with his Mom, I’m sure she worries, and wonders and hopes for more for him.
I got home and deleted my angry words and decided that I wouldn’t be writing a letter. Maybe that customer service rep was having a bad day, it happens to the best of us. My phone would be in my hands eventually, what I really needed to be looking for, that only I could deliver, was my peace of mind so I can still my twitching eye.