It's endlessly fascinating to me that the most insignificant moments in life can make such huge impact on the way we see the world.
Last night, after leaving my parent's house, I pulled through a gas station. As I was leaving, this girl was backing out of a parking space as I was about to pass it. She clearly didn't see me. I started braking and she looked over and realized what she was doing. She looked embarrassed and I just rolled my eyes and sped around her as she pulled back into the spot. As soon as I got to the other side of her, I felt my heart start to sink. I wanted to turn around and say "I'm sorry for being rude, god knows I have done what you just did a half million times!" but I didn't. The guilt stayed with me all the way home. It wasn't that I was torn apart by it but it led to a lot of self assessment and a fresh realization.
We all want to have happy, fulfilling lives. We all want to go through each day knowing we matter. I have spent a lot of time over the past few weeks feeling really sorry for myself. Thinking "I'm sad and I deserve to be happy. Why am I not happy?" Then yesterday I woke up in an awesome mood. After struggling with the right way to handle the unexpected jolt of sunshine see yesterday's post I went through the day feeling great.
It occurred to me as I was leaving the gas station and heading home that my mood had been slightly diminished by the interaction I had with that girl and that I had nobody to blame but myself. Then I started to think about all of the times that I've gotten angry at other drivers on the road or the long lines at restaurants when I'm on my lunch break, etc. How often do I get frustrated throughout the day and huff and puff and curse the stupidity of others which is most likely not stupidity at all.
I'm not saying that this is the missing puzzle piece in the formula for perfect happiness. That doesn't exist. I'm glad it doesn't exist. Joy is a fleeting, spontaneous gift and I would never want to know how to obtain it or it would be worthless.What I'm starting to realize, though, is that I do certain things that make it hard for happiness to find me. If I'm getting impatient over stupid things then I'm not putting out a very good vibe and so I'm certainly not getting a very good vibe back.
I know that there are obvious ways to put those good vibes out, like showing support when people share news with you, telling people that you notice their effort and that you see their accomplishments, applauding art and creativity and all of the other things that I try to do as often as I can. Those things are so important. But, equally important are the little moments in between, when you have road rage that's directed toward someone who didn't wrong you on purpose or when you roll your eyes because the elderly woman in front of you in line pays entirely in change or when you sigh because your friend or relative or lover says they will need a few minutes to get ready even though you're running late...they are important because these are moments where we can choose to pile more crap on to the loads that we already complain are too heavy to bear OR we can choose to exhale, smile and say "I don't mind". Because in the grand scheme of things, these small inconveniences do not matter as much as the people who you might hurt with your frustration and also...none of us needs the extra worry.
I'm really going to try to work as hard as I can to breathe deeply and not get so impatient with my fellow humans, even in the smallest moments. I feel like it will be contagious. Maybe if I had smiled at that girl last night and signaled for her to go ahead in front of me, she would have gone home with a smile. Maybe it would have made her day better.
I'm not going to pretend that I'm the first one to realize all of this hello, golden rule but I needed to really feel it for myself as an adult to see how helpful it would be to apply it to my life.
What do you guys think?
P.S!! I'm DONE tweaking my blog design. I know it's been different like...every day but I'm sticking with this. It feels right! <3