A Moment on a Thursday Night

My Thursday night had a moment to remember. That moment included delight, sadness, and a hint of jealousy. Those 10 seconds will remain with me forever. If you read this, it shouldn’t take long but I hope that it is lasting.

I live a relatively “normal”life. To some, it might be exciting, and to others, it might be boring. I do not party on the weekends;I keep only enough friends to count on one hand; I work too much; and, I am a student who cannot wait to graduate. My average “normal” existence works for me. I am not a fan of drama and chaos, though, it tends to follow me no matter where I go. All of this means that I do not venture outside of my apartment unless I have a very good reason.

Last night was a great reason. I was able to attend a speaking engagement that featured Tim Gunn. Watching Project Runway for several years has given me an appreciation for this man. Not many people inspire me but he does. He is kind, witty, honest, and direct. However, you should understand this only scratches the surface. Anyway, I am sitting in the balcony of a packed auditorium laughing, clapping, and having a fabulous time. He did not speak at us; he had a conversation with us. It was as if the two of us were sitting on my couch in my living room. I could have listened to him for hours. But, as you know, all good things must come to an end. It was just before 9:00 PM when we left the building.

I took my time walking to my car. It was only a short distance and the weather was quite inviting. It was one of those early autumn nights that beckons you to sit for hours just listening to the wind. So, I decided to use that time to reflect on some of the things Mr. Gunn had said. Unfortunately, I returned to my car much too quickly but knew I needed to get home soon due to the late hour. Little did I know something wonderful was about to happen.

I pulled up to a stop sign and looked both ways as any good driver should. I noticed a group of people who were just a few feet from the crosswalk, so, I waited for them before driving on. Then, I took a second look at the group. During my original glance, I thought it was a younger family. I could not have been more wrong. It was a group of young adults, perhaps in their early 20's, walking towards downtown. The person who made me think they were a young family was a man who was physically deformed. Just so you know, I do not care for the word deformed because it indicates something was wrong with him. However, it is just a physical difference from what is considered the norm and there is actually nothing wrong with him. Anyway…I took those few moments of waiting at the stop sign to take a closer look at him. Being human, I am curious about anything new. So, I watched as they walked past.

That was when it happened. This young man who’s legs crisscrossed in front of him saw someone he knew. It was amazing to see how his face light up with the joy he felt in seeing his friend. His hand shot up as high as it could and he waved vigorously until he opened his arms wide to receive the awaiting hug. It was truly beautiful to witness. I instantly started crying. I cried for the love he received from his friends who accepted him unconditionally. I cried for the cruelty he must have faced growing up in this world of judgement and hate. I cried for the obstacles he must have faced and overcome. I cried for everyone who has had to fight for their existence.

As I drove home, the moment he waved kept turning over in my mind and that was when the jealousy hit. I was jealous of his joy for life. I do not hate my “normal” life. It is the one I have created through all the choices I have made. I have no regrets because every choice, good or bad, is a moment to learn and grow. It is funny how life happens. One moment you are thinking of something funny Tim Gunn said and the next you are crying for a man you have never met. If it had not been for all the different twists and turns of the evening, I would have missed the opportunity to get caught up in that moment. I would not have been touched by the love one human had for another. I would have gone about my night driving to my apartment on the same route I take each time. I would have forever been oblivious to something I was obviously meant to witness.

Perhaps my point to this is to be grateful for what you have. Do your best to keep moving forward and not let those things out of your control be the things that shape your life. Most important is to delight in the little things and allow it to fill you with the joy you deserve.

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