day 27: the 14, 49, or 67

September 30, 2008

mission:

  • be pleasant in even the simplest, routine instance

those are the bus lines i take to get home many days from bart.  yesterday as the 14 sped off, i sulked for just a moment.  but then i quickly remembered that the 49 is usually directly behind.  i was right.

lost in thoughts from the day, to-do lists, and plans for the evening (including my initial planned act for the day), i stayed in my head.  i’m usually in my head.  and what might surprise many, those that know and don’t know me, i don’t usually smile when i’m out and about on my own.  i often keep to myself and try to float about generally unnoticed, mean-mug defense mechanism on autopilot.

my default face is a mean mug – i can’t even help it.  my mama gets on me about it all the time.

granted, there are the moments where i am flamboyant, full of life, and walk about taking everything around me in – staring life in the face and whatnot.  but when i’m on my grind or routine, that approach to life for me is a little infrequent.

it’s largely random if i decide to say hello or smile at the busdriver as i enter the bus.  usually i’m blank, looking down or ahead of me – lost in thought or impatiently awaiting solitude at home.  there’s more of a chance i’ll say something when deboarding the bus – “thank you” or “have a good day” or “take care.”  it depends on my mood, desire to take the extra energy, and level of introversion/focus on myself and thoughts in that moment.

i get all kinds of busdrivers: many are blank-faced on the grind, a few preemptively pissed the eff off and will let you know it, others very inward and hostile as they mutter to themselves, some are rules-nazis, a couple a tad awkward, some chill and coasting through the day, with yet others jovially greeting every passenger.

my busdriver yesterday was the delightful kind.  she didn’t greet every person, but the vibrations of her voice were warm, her tone and inflection animated.  she was clearly loving life.

i wasn’t planning on saying anything to her when getting off the bus, but her energy swayed me.  on my way out – energy drenched from me and still relatively aloof, i half turned my head and let out a very even and light “have a good day.”  not very animated, but it wasn’t flat – just mellow.  coming from someone of my visible recluse disposition, i think she may have been surprised: “oh! you too!” she said merrily.  i could feel her huge smile behind me.  it compelled me to turn around and give one, albeit a small one, back.

i am usually the same introverted shadow of a person on the bus everyday.  but i remember the times i have taken a purposeful moment to say something nice to busdrivers on my way out.  more often than not, my gestures have been very warmly received.  i remember one time sensing a particular bus driver being in a bad mood and making a point to say something pleasant to him or her on my way out.  i immediately noticed how that gesture and connection uplifted their mood.

i want to try to challenge myself to exude outward positivity, warmness, and friendliness.  even when i’m inward, focused and on my grind, exhausted, or just in a plain bad mood.  i feel that good energy put out in and of itself has healing qualities both for the do-er and the receiver.  it can flip a mood.

it’s really the simple things.

be well, yall.
peace,
seher

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