Don’t judge a book by it’s cover

Yesterday I decided to take a drive to “Magee Lookout“. I have no idea if anyone else in Tucson actually calls it that, or if that was just something we called it when we were in high school.  I think some people called it “make out point” for awhile too. Anyways, it is basically a place you can park, go on a hike, and be able to look out at a beautiful view.  As I sat there listening to music from high school, I felt nostalgic. It brought back memories of my teenage years – some good, some bad. You know when you hear a certain song, and somehow it manages to hit you so hard you start to feel exactly how you felt when you listened to it during a particular part of your life? That is the best way I can explain it. I thought back to how hard it was. Don’t get me wrong, my high school experience was nothing like the terrible things they show on TV – like “13 Reasons Why“. However, I can remember how lost I felt. I was dying to fit in while so desperately trying to stand out. I really had no idea who I was, let alone who I wanted to be. Summing up my experience is pretty simple – mean girls went far in high school, but kind women go far in life. You can check out my ‘back in the day’ play list here. 🙂

My husband always jokes that I “attract crazy”. It happens to me apparently more than it does to most people – where a complete stranger spills their heart out to me. Working in customer service, it is bound to happen.. but it also happens when I go the gas station, stop a store, or simply go to check the mail. Most recently, I was at the Dollar Tree and the cashier went on and on about how her co-workers have been calling out and it is making it hard for her because she has another job she has to get to but this job needs her to stay late. She was venting about how hard it is to support her kids so she works these two jobs to do it and she needs the other employees to do their part. She couldn’t quit one job because the extra hours wouldn’t always be guaranteed, but she couldn’t be the employee who helps out because she couldn’t sacrifice her other job. The ol’ single mom in me felt for her. <3 Sometimes people share great things, somethings I would rather never know, and somethings I will never forget.

When I was probably 15 years old I flew out to visit my cousin in Florida. On my flight home, the person I sat next to shared her personal experience surviving the holocaust -with me. Although I cannot remember her name, I will never forget her story. I remember before we got off the plane, she had told me I need to make it a point to watch Schlinder’s List & told me it is a great depiction of how what it was really like. I follow a group on Facebook that is focused on the holocaust and sometimes they post videos that I can’t help but think of the incredible woman I sat next to on that flight.

A couple years ago while on a business trip, I flew out to Dallas, Texas. On my flight home from there the person who sat next to me, cried the entire time and carried on about how her boyfriend broke up with her. You could hear the loud sighs and whispering going around us but it didn’t seem to phase her one bit.

A few months ago, while I was out on a field observation trip with some of our staff –   we drove by a particular gas station. We got the red light and were sitting in front of the Circle K , and it prompted me to share a story with them. I told them a story about how one time when I was at that gas pump, a guy had come over to me and asked me if I wanted to buy his CD for $5. I did it. My husband laughed because the music was definitely not our style, and who knows where that CD is today; but I respected that guy for trying to succeed, and being out in 110 degree weather to share his talents with others. Anyways, while I was telling this story, one of my employees shared that years ago her dad had a CD of his own and did the same thing. She laughed about it because he didn’t end up becoming a famous rapper, but he did create a successful YouTube channel showing people how to repair their cars. I guess you could say perseverance wins. 🙂

Whatever it is about my face that makes it easy for people to open up to me, can also be my downfall. Some people over the years, haven’t always wanted to tell me about their lives but question me about mine. I have always thought if I had “resting bitch face”, some of the things I have been asked, never would have taken place, but who knows. One time in particular, I think I was about 20 or 21 years old, I was at work. I had a photo of my son who couldn’t have been more than two at the time, on my desk. A customer came in and saw the photo. While I was working on billing his account for his purchase he began asking me questions. Basically the jist of it was that I looked way too young to be a mom, asked if my son’s dad was in the picture, if I get child support, and if my parent’s have to help us get by. It just goes to show, some people have no shame.

If you know me, or have been following my site for a while now – you probably know how important kindness is to me. Why? Well, because life can be so damn hard, and this world can be such a crappy place, and people can be so mean. You never know how much a few kind words could mean to someone. Sometimes, you can’t tell the person next to you has a broken heart, or they are struggling to smile. Sometimes, we don’t know the background story of someone’es life and we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. After my husband’s motorcycle accident, he was at Best Buy when one of their employees – their security guard – started laughing at him, and mimicking his walk. He was mocking my husband for his “pimp walk”. What he didn’t know was that an escalade was recently totaled due to the impact it took when it ran over my husband. What that guy didn’t know was that my husband had just recently been learning to walk without crutches or cane. What he didn’t know, was my husband would have given anything to be able to walk normal again, and sure as hell wasn’t trying to “pimp walk”. The most incredible part to me about to me is two things – first of all, he was a grown man and knew better. We as adults are responsible for helping making the world a better place,a  kinder place, and raising the next generations to do the same. This man, was failing at this. Second of all, here is this person dressed in uniform, getting paid to do a job to protect this company, and he had the nerve to mock one of the paying customers who give him a business to protect in the first place. My point is, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. You have no idea what someone may be going through. We don’t all have a sign to tell the world something is going on and we need them to be patient with us. Sometimes you see a “student driver” magnet on the side of a car and you realize you need to slow down and be a little extra patient. But, we can’t all wear a sign to tell the rest of the world what is going on.  So when you are waiting in line behind someone counting their change to try and pay for their groceries – be patient. You have no idea what kind of financial struggles they may be up against. When you see someone limping around, or showing some signs of distress, don’t assume it is for attention or by choice. You have no idea if they just a loved one, or if maybe they are going through a divorce. You have no idea if someone may have recently been laid off from their job of 30 years, or maybe they just left a doctor’s appointment with life-altering news. We shouldn’t have to ask the world to wear signs on the back of their shirts so we know how we should treat them today.  <3

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