I can’t make this stuff up….(click here for part I!)
Today I got some advice.
I was sitting in Whole Foods. I had literally just sat down and the stranger at the table beside me says, “Excuse me.”
So I say, “Yes?”
He’s an old guy. I would guess 55 or 60. He starts this conversation with me.
“Okay. Am I freaking you out by talking to you? (I shake my head, try to smile with my eyebrows raised…) Okay. Good. I hope I’m not freaking you out. I’m an old guy. You’re young. I look…. I look a lot older than I should. I look bad for my age. I spent the last forty years or so being bipolar. Do you know what that is? (I nod, keep trying to smile…) It’s this guy disease. I had it. I’ve recently been let back in here. They kicked me out about 9 months ago. I’m on probation. I guess I talk to much. I like to talk to people. I’m a people person. I can’t help that. But the reason I’m saying this… what I’m saying is… are you in show business?”
“No. Not at all.”
“Yeah.” He nods. “You’re probably a nurse. You’re a nurse, aren’t you? Or a teacher. You’re probably a teacher.”
“No… neither, actually.” (more about why I’m NOT a teacher…)
“Probably because you found some amazing guy.”
“Well… I did. But that’s not why I’m not a teacher.”
“Are you married?”
“Good. You know? I just realized, last week, that I spend my entire life living without the most important thing a person can have. I haven’t been giving out any love. I haven’t had anyone. I’m so lonely. I realized how lonely I am. Truly alone. And it’s my fault. Anyway, why I ask is, I’m happy to hear stories like yours. I’m so happy some people have someone to really love. So, thanks. Thanks for talking to me. Thanks for listening.”
“Did I creep you out?”
“Nah. Nothing really surprises me anymore.” (which is totally true)
“Alright. Thanks. Thanks a lot.”
Then this guy started talking to the person he was sitting with again and didn’t say another word to me.
The point? Today a total stranger made me realize how lucky I am to have someone to love me and to love in return. It was unexpected advice. Even though part of me was actually totally annoyed to be bothered, another part of me let go of that and really took this as something I should listen to. Not everyone has had the chance to get married. Not everyone has a great family and sisters to talk to every single day. So even if some random stranger never approaches you with some weird soliloquy of their own lives… realize it.
Take those people who are blessings to you and hold them close.
Don’t let them go.
Don’t let a moment with them slip away unnoticed or uncared for.
Smile even when you don’t want to.
Say I Love You even when it’s the last thing you’re feeling.
Pick your crap up off of the floor/counter if that’s the one things that drives them crazy. (I’m working on this!)
Don’t be too hard on people.
Don’t be that guy who wakes up to be 60 something years old and realizes he’s been lonely and it’s his fault. That’s no life.