Friday, January 15, 2010

Two Thoughts to Begin a New Year

New Year's Day was 14 days ago, but I still have new beginnings on my mind. I'm standing at a crossroads in my life, looking back at what I've accomplished, enjoying where I am right now, and also looking into the future, seeing what-is-to-be getting clearer and clearer. These are heady times for me. These are moments that make me want to be a better person. I want to eat healthier food, exercise, and take my vitamins. I want to be good and kind and charitable. I want to perform efficiently and excel at my job. I want to be an example of faith and righteousness to the ones I love the most. This year is going to be a life-changing one for me, and I want to be ready for it.

I have New Year's resolutions of course. None have been written down, just rolled around and mulled over in my mind. Some are more like wishes or aspirations, too personal to share now, but things that I am yearning for, that I want to have happen this year. Some are mundane things, like daily flossing and the aforementioned vitamin-taking. Some are goals leftover from a year or two years ago (I need to make that Hawaiian quilt for N & L!) None are impossible. Each one fills me with enthusiasm because I know I'm capable of becoming the better person that I want to be.


Yesterday as I was taking the subway home, I was sitting at the end of the seats by the door just minding my own business, listening to my ipod, daydreaming about this and that, when all of a sudden the guy standing next to me tapped me on the shoulder and bent down to ask me a question. At least, I think he was asking a question. I couldn't understand a single thing he was saying. He was an older man, of vague ethnicity, and talking too close to my face. "I'm sorry," I said, shaking my head. "I don't understand." Then I put the earphones back in my ears and tried to recapture my reverie. Tap, tap, tap, on the shoulder interrupted me again, and the man was still trying to ask or say something to me. I kept telling him I just didn't understand. This happened three or four times. I wondered if maybe he was drunk, or crazy, so I just stayed polite. Finally, he tapped my shoulder and said, "Peru." Oh! He's from Peru. Well, that explains one thing, I thought. I told him that I was from America, and I was sorry I couldn't understand Spanish. He motioned that it was okay. And then (I think) he told me that it was okay, and I'm pretty, and have a good evening. Then it was my stop, but I realized it was his stop too, so I pretended not to get off the train and then jumped off at the last moment and made sure to walk really really slowly so he wouldn't see me.

Anyway, that random experience illustrates the point I want to make, which is that I'm so thankful for good communication. Sometimes it doesn't matter how much you talk, write, email, text, or telephone someone--they just can't understand what you're saying, and you can't understand them a bit and no amount of wanting to can change it. Then you find someone that you can just lock eyes with and they understand everything you're thinking about. You talk and it's as if you are answering yourself because they understand perfectly. You write and don't have to worry about them taking things the wrong way because they know exactly what you mean. You think about and wish for something, only to discover that they are thinking and wishing for the same thing.

I'm so thankful to have experienced both, because the first has taught me to appreciate the second, and the second has made me so happy.

Happy New Year.

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