Its been a weird week.
A great one, but weird nonetheless. Since the first time I stepped foot into one 2 years ago, I have had this fascination with airports. It is the only place in the world where you can have thousands of people, from each end of the Earth, all together for a common purpose. One time while I was catching a flight from Miami to Denver, my dad and I met this woman from Russia. She was ecstatic because she was going to be seeing her family for the first time in 12 years. The entire flight to Denver, I wrote about this woman I met in my journal: how her kindness inspired me, how I felt that personally: one of my favorite things about life, are the random people who touch our heart and change us along the way.
(Like usual, I’m going to be jumping between points in this post.)
So my friend Amy needed a place to crash for a few days with her friend Jaclyn while they were traveling around TN this week. I offered up my ghetto apartment. It lead to this:
the most important part though, were these folks:
So we’re chugging up to Max Patch in my wimpy Toyota Camry (mistake #1). Half-way up, we realize the road is too icy and we’re never going to make it, so we pull over to the side of the road and park, thinking we’re going to attempt to walk 4 miles to get to the trail (mistake #2.) Then,this couple pulls up to us in a beat-up pick up truck. long story short, they haul us all the way up the mountain in the back, walk half the trail with us for fun, and wait for us to take pictures, come back down, and then drive us all the way back to our car. You just don’t meet people like that every day.
After Amy and Jac left, I was basically stranded in Knoxville until one of my roommates came home tonight. besides the taco bell drive-thru lady, I really haven’t had much human interaction (I love it.) anyhow, yesterday I decided I needed to pay our electric bill since it was 4 days late. As I’m standing in this massive line full of slightly questionable people, this old lady in front of me starts to strike up a conversation. It begins with a comment about a woman’s heels a few feet in front of us: “sweetheart, she’s gonna regret wearin’ them things when she’s my age.” At first, I think: “here we go, typical grandma.” BUT NO. Then she breaks into a total rant, describing, in full detail, giving birth to her two children (something involving a bowling ball being shoved through a lime.) She also gives me life advice, including: “honey, if men had to give birth, have periods, and go through menopause, we’d live in a different world.” By the time I got to the front of the line I was crying laughing. This woman had successfully grossed out the entire line, and all I could think was: I really hope I end up like her one day.
To sum this up, I like these random occurrences in life. You know that there is a strong chance you will never see these people again, and yet they have an effect on you. Like the old couple who saved us on the mountain, who reminded me that you should always pay it forward with simple acts of kindness, and the lady in the line to pay my electric bill, who taught me that you’re never too old to talk about periods and that life is supposed to be funny, if you let it. If you take it lightly.
I have this poem/quotation that has stuck with me for a long time. I read it my freshman year of college, and by luck, it popped up on Pinterest the other day:
The last line tugs at me more than anything I’ve heard in a while. These random people teach me little lessons when I meet them, and its easy to let them go: knowing their purpose was to change me just a little, and then go on their way. Then there are the people in our lives who take up bigger chunks of moments, who teach us bigger lessons. Some we’re with everyday, and don’t realize their impact until they’re gone. Some, we know in every moment that we are with them, that we are changed forever. Whether the goodbye is small, or life-changing, we learn with each and every one.