I believe in kindness. I believe in helping others. Whether that means tutoring a struggling student or letting someone merge into your lane. I try to take every opportunity to be kind in life. Despite this general outlook I am still amazed when someone else is kind to me. This morning when I put gas in my car I forgot to close the lid. As I waited in line at the McDonald’s drive thru a man in a truck pulled up next to me and told me my tank was open. He was concerned because the top wasn’t there. Through our open windows he advised me to try to go back to the gas station where I fueled up. I thanked him and told him that the door shut without a top. Before I could say another word he proceeded to jump out of his truck and shut my tank. His girlfriend just waited patiently as he did this.
I knew he didn’t have to do this small kindness. He didn’t even have to tell me the tank was open let alone jump out of his truck!!! I thanked him and he drove off. As I pulled up to the window to get my coffee I saw him ordering inside. He nodded his head and I waved a thank you again. It was just a small kindness, a good deed, and yet it reaffirmed the goodness in this world that is so often overlooked.
My reading obsession began in middle school when I discovered romance novels. I read book after book like an obsession. Funny but that was the beginning of a “love affair” with books. Reading for fun is really not about fiction or non-fiction for me. It is more about what mood I am in at the time that I feel the need to read. On my “intellectual” days I am inspired by leadership books or classics. If life is getting too serious I dive into a mystery or a love story. I love to pick up books that my son (currently a sophomore in high school) has read or is currently reading so I have one more way to connect with him. I read Harry Potter and the Twilight series along with him. Some days my choice in reading is guided by my current budget. There are so many books I would love to purchase but are too expensive so I settle for the bargain book I find at Dollar General. Then again I may splurge if I find a book I truly love. Reading, like everything else in my world is as varied as my mood. That is what makes life interesting.
The bottle of Christian Dior “Poison” pefume sits silently under my sink. Periodically as I shift gels and brushes or lotions around I run across it. It is the gift my father gave me on my 15th birthday. One of the few things that physically reminds me of his presence in my life. I remember how great it was to have been reunited with him after six years of having left my home and extended family in Mexico to continue the education that was my birthright in the US.
For Mexicans a girl’s “Quinceanera” or fifteenth birthday is a big deal. It is her entrance into womanhood. The day is typically celebrated with a splendid and somewhat formal party. For me, it was a homecoming. It was celebrated by being reunited with my father. Along with that reunion came this gift. Th
at single gift of perfume has traveled with me across many states through many days and even decades.
Every time I run across it I carefully wipe the dust off the top, open it and smell that familiar scent. Somehow I have never truly owned that scent. It is not the typical smell for a teen but it was what he chose to give me.
The haunting scent sits within it’s dark container waiting to remind me of a relationship long gone. A relationship that once bought me to tears. It reminds me that my Dad loved me at some point. That he cared enough to bring me pears every Sunday and watch me dance and act while he struggled to keep his eyes open. It reminds me that in the short time we had he let me take the wheel of his car in a quiet street in Mexico City for my first driving lesson. It brings back his customary bear hug, his deep blue eyes and taylored suit.
There were many disappointments in our relationship. Failings on both sides. Time lost. His legacy however was a commitment to my education. It was his greatest gift to me along with a singuar bottle of “Poison” perfume.
It is so good of you to drop by. In today’s world there are so many things that seem to separate us. Political views, religious beliefs, race, age, distance, culture etc. But you are someone willing to listen to another point of view even if it is not your own. You understand that when we really look closely we have much more in common than the media would like us to believe. Yes, there are problems in the world but you take a more optimistic and open view of what it means to be human. You delight in reading about those seemingly trivial moments in life that sometimes become life changing. You enjoy learning about the human experience and want to share your own. You realize that the time we have in this world is our most valuable asset and you strive to make each moment count. You are adventrous and fun and I’m happy to see you here. Welcome to my blog, stop by anytime.
The question came up during a discussion on internet use and social media at work. “Who would ever want to blog? Who would possibly want to publish the minute details of her life?”. At the time I had never considered the idea of a blog or the motivation of a blogger. What was their motivation? I wasn’t really sure but I did know it felt like a very bold process. A few of my friends developed blogs in the years after this question was asked. I followed their blogs and enjoyed their posts. For the time being I was happy to be on the sidelines.
My blogging interest was a direct side effect of a job change. Due to my new schedule I could no longer attend my favorite personal development meetings: Toastmasters. Toastmasters had been a safe place where I was inspired by hearing other speaker’s perspectives and being able to share my own stories. I missed hearing stories of adventure, inspiration, joy and sadness. I missed sharing my life with people who at first were total strangers but with whom I shared many personal details that I would not necessarily be comfortable sharing with a coworker or family member. My group was so diverse and yet we shared a common human bond. Pursuing my Toastmaster Competent Communicator Designation presented me with the ideal opportunity to reflect on my life, on my past and on my future.
I hear the question again in my mind, “Why would anyone want to blog?”. I feel the fear of being published, of putting my life “out there” and I have an answer. Despite my intitial fear, today as I publish my first post, my goal is to continue to find our shared humanity, to reflect on the things that inspire me and to enrich my life with the shared experiences of the writing community.