(Entry below is an excerpt from an entry handwritten on 4/1/2012)
The other day at the doctor’s office, the receptionist was verifying my address and phone number to check if anything changed. When she read my cell phone number, she said she had the same exact phone number at a previous job. She looked confused and a bit stunned.
I told her she should play those numbers in the lottery since she kept seeing them. She said she had that phone number back when she worked at St. Vincent’s. And then she quietly said, “I loved working at St. Vincent’s”
It’s so weird how some people suddenly feel an immediate rapport with a stranger, as if they were a friend. Maybe she could sense that I am a kind person who has sympathy for almost everyone. We are all going through the same things as we experience this human condition. We are all a little lost and struggling, and sometimes just need another human being to acknowledge us, or listen to us.
Last week when I was at a coffee shop, I was standing and staring out the window waiting for my boyfriend who was in the restroom. As I started out at the traffic going by, a short woman with big, dark, curly hair was passing by on the sidewalk in front of me. We made eye contact and she smiled at me. It was just a small smile but was so sincere and genuine. I smiled back and immediately felt better, because we were two separate people who acknowledged each other’s presence. And when that happens with a stranger, it’s somehow even more comforting.
A little later I saw a man walking behind her who must have been with her. He stared straight ahead, seemingly lost in his own thoughts. I used to go around staring at the ground all the time because I was shy, but now I make more of an effort to look at people, observe others, and see what I can learn.
I was walking to the train station yesterday, holding some flowers that my coworkers had thoughtfully given me, and a street vendor called out ‘nice flowers!’ with such enthusiasm, as I was passing by. I turned to him and smiled, saying ‘thank you’ and he was positively beaming. I don’t think he realized that i heard him.
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