I had a few cool things to happen to me today. Want to hear about them? Okay, since you asked! : )
I have been keeping my distance from Starbucks’s for a few weeks now as it isn’t helping me in my “stay fine” mission. Well, today I cracked. I craved it and walked into my a Target and headed right on over to the Starbucks located inside. I went on to order my banana nut bread minus my additional order of a caramel frappuccino… venti (no judging!) The guy at the register (an older white gentleman) asks me, “That’s it?” I replied, “Yep, just my bread!” He then went on to read my shirt. After reading, I went to grab my card for payment. He motioned with his hands for me to put my card away. Yep, he gave me my warmed… moist… banana nut bread for FREE! Yayyy!!! This made my day! Wondering what it was my t-shirt read?
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
I made this shirt awhile back and every time I wear it, I get a lot of compliments, head nods and just different random expressions of agreement. Never have I gotten something free. No complaints here! However, I do wonder. What compelled this man to offer such a nice gesture? Did he, in that moment, feel for me as a black woman in this world that has been so cruel to people that look just like me? Was this his way of letting me know that he sympathizes with the pain of my community? Was he letting me know that he condemned the oppressor? What was it? Perhaps it wasn’t that deep at all. Perhaps, he wanted to distract me from the potential discomfort I could have felt with him reading the words across my breasts. lol For the record, I wasn’t. I made the shirt. But you know what? Maybe he was just a really nice person who wanted to do something good for some unexpecting person and that person just happened to be the black woman with the cool shirt. Me.
Cool thing #2
I caught an Uber today after I dropped my rental off. I’m sure by now you (my readers) know that I meet no strangers. I typically talk to people where ever I go and an Uber ride is no different. I have actually had great conversations inside of Uber rides. Today was one of those days. The gentleman that picked me up, shared with me a few things that he had been going through. One being that he had moved from Philly to Orlando and that he was on this mission to reinvent himself. He confided in me that he has been living his life as a people pleaser and currently finds himself living in resentment as well as with this haunting feeling that he made a wrong turn in his younger life. He left a good job in Philly with great benefits and now he is struggling to find his way. He told me of his plans to become a life coach and a dietician. He spoke of all the things that he had allowed to take priority over his own happiness and now at 54 years old, he felt stuck.
In a nutshell, this is what I offered to him:
It is easy to feel like we made a wrong turn in life or that if we would have just done “this” or “that” things would have been different/better, but the truth is that there is no certainty in that feeling. What I have grown to believe is that everything that I have gone through up to this point has been in preparation for what is to come. Whatever is for me, is for me and I have to believe that every event that has lead me to this place will have been what I needed in order to prepare me in a way that would allow me to best receive whatever it is. I told him about this time I had an opportunity to move to California, but I chose not to. That haunted me for years, because I felt that I missed my opportunity to be an actress or to sit at a writers table. One day I had to come to terms with the idea that maybe I just wasn’t ready and that if it is truly what my calling is, it will come. “Nothing, but death can keep me from it her (it)!” In my Nettie from Color Purple voice. lol. I told him that there is no age limit on pursuing your happy. Some people go to their graves after living a live for everyone else and that the blessing was that he still has breath in his lungs as well as the mobility to chase the desires of his heart. Anyway, I just continued to encourage him and when he dropped me off at my house, he said this to me, “I am usually always the person encouraging and pouring into people. I am a minister, so this is part of my day to day. I want you to know that I consider it a blessing speaking with you today and I appreciate your every word. I will remember this conversation.”
If you know me, you know how much that meant to me. I have been (for a long time) a believer in chance meetings and the power of random conversations. I have had people to tell me that I shouldn’t be so open to speak to people that I do not know, but whats in you, is in you. I am often times drawn to start certain conversations with people, pay a compliment or just speak. You never know if the word you have within you is EXACTLY what some stranger NEEDS to hear in that moment. Never mute your voice. Never dim your light. You never know who is dying in silence or lost in darkness.