Sometimes the universe (and other people) reaches out and takes care of me, and I want to say I’m extremely grateful when that happens.

Today I left my laptop at work, as I’ll be in again tomorrow, though usually I take it home with me anyway. Today I didn’t want to be bothered. I arrived home particularly tired, really at the end of my rope for whatever reason. First day back after vacation, up too early, whatever. I fish in my bag for my housekey – no keys. I turn my bag inside out – nope, not there. I realize what I’ve done – I put them in the handy pocket of my laptop bag, and they’re locked up at work, almost an hour away by subway. Oh God. Just the worst feeling.

So just then my downstairs neighbour drives up, so I ask if she has keys. Nope, not to my place.

Where do you work?

I tell her.

It’ll take you ages to go down there – hop in, I’ll drive you.

I felt like I’d just been rescued by an angel. I’ve never talked to this neighbour beyond hello, how are you…and she rescued me just like that. It was still a fairly long drive for her, but she drove me to my work and back, taking maybe an hour and a half. Wow. Such a kind lady.

We chatted quite a bit on the way. It turns out she’s quite artistic, used to have a vintage clothing store, makes jewelry, and wants to study art. She has a tiny dog that curled up in my lap for most of the drive. It was so soothing, patting the silky little dog, having the neighbour chat to me, and being driven in comfort through the city. So so kind. At home, I actually feel all soothed and calm after my adventure.

Sometimes I think I get ‘weirded out’ with having no one to talk to. The city is pretty cold and people will ignore you if you don’t make an effort. At work too, I often spend many hours, sometimes an entire day, without anyone talking to me. It’s stressful for me, and I start to feel kind of unreal and invisible.

When I was up north, I admired my friend J’s ability to start chatting with anyone. She elicited the life story of a waiter who served us dinner, the owner of the cabin we rented, the store owner of the gift shop – she said everyone just chats in small towns, it’s natural. To me it was very strange, but in a good way. Since I’ve been back, I have been making some extra efforts to be friendly to people, because I want to feel comfortable and I want to feel people at least know I’m alive. It seems people will start talking about themselves if you ask a few questions and seem interested. They’re not all like me, where I worry about every word that comes out of my mouth sometimes.

Talking to this neighbour was so soothing and nice….I’m going to keep making an effort to talk with her. It would be great to have someone friendly around, that I don’t have to phone and arrange a visit.

This neighbour is not particularly impressive looking – kind of overweight and dresses in very plain clothes. No hairdo really. I thought she was kind of gruff and unfriendly. Wrong on all counts. You never know who will actually turn out to be an angel, do you.

  1. gniz said:

    Ellen, that's a beautiful thing that happened to you. And you were open to it happening, which helps too. Really glad everything worked out.Your post made me think of something I've been working with a lot myself recently. When I do my breath work, I've been trying to smile more. My teacher actually mentioned this to me and I've found it helps so much.I breathe in and remind myself simultaneously to smile, to enjoy the sensations I'm feeling, the fact that I'm alive. it's especially nice to do laying down in bed or if I'm on my back porch relaxing.Smile more and people will see that you're open to talking. Sometimes just smiling at people as I walk by them, or in a store. This has been a surprisingly big help to me and I can feel myself generally being happier because of it.Best,Aaron

  2. inamaze said:

    It's awesome when someone will go the extra mile for you without giving it another thought. I'm glad this happened for you and helped make your day easier.I used to be very shy and wouldn't say a word to people. I started practicing chatting with people and now for the most part feel at ease with it. It took some time though. I also used to worry about my words. It's amazing how people will start talking to me even when I make a simple comment about the weather. Most people do like talking about themselves. I think it's nice to be acknowledged and to acknowledge others.

  3. Ellen said:

    @ gniz – thanks Aaron. Yes it was awesome. I like your smiling practice and am going to try it also. It's amazing sometimes how little changes make a difference to how people respond. And I really want to work on friendliness, it's a big issue for me, as my instinct is to hide and pretend no one else exists, which is not how I want to be. take care @ maze – Yes, I don't think I've experienced someone I don't know going out of their way like that for me before. A good feeling. Interesting how you overcame shyness. I find too that friendliness can build, with one successful experience, I become more willing to extend myself again. Until I forget again. Good to remember that people like to talk, usually. take care

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