The more we question our existence and ponder our purpose here on earth – the more we realize we may never know what that one thing is that is our thread in this tapestry of life. Most of us will pro-create. That is the true cycle of human life. But our ‘soul’ existence… it wants more. It wants to be validated. We want to know why??? Why are we here? Why be born only to die?? (That is one BIG burr under my life’s saddle that has plagued me for years…. why be born at all?)
We often placate ourselves with our own theories, make justifications for our actions. As if there is a damn book with a pattern on how to be a woman (man, child, preteen, fill in with your title..). I have bucked the system all my life.. I don’t think there is a thing I’ve ever done that I didn’t tweek the rules, where I didn’t seek change. I truly believed that I just didn’t fit in. As I’ve grown older, I tend to be more grateful that I have lived an off-kilter life. I have done some fabulously wonderful things and I have also done some not so, well… (I admit nothing!) not so nice things. And through all that living I keep coming back to that same old question… why am I here?
I still don’t know the answer to that. But I had a great conversation a few days back that helped me to understand the weaving interaction with people, and the moments that really make a difference.
I am a closet WalMart-aholic! I love these treasure troves of treats! And because I have the craziest of crazy schedules I find myself doing most of my wandering among the aisles in the truly quiet hours… and that is such a plus for me. Ooops… kinda got off subject!!! Because I am a very frequent customer at a couple of our local WalMart’s. I see the same cashiers most of the time. A few months back a friend asked me to pick up a pack of cigarettes for them. I got to the cashier that night and asked for the brand… we looked, she grabbed a couple. As I debated on which pack to buy for my friend… I mentioned that I had just surpassed 16 years as a non smoker. I remember she said she was really bent on quitting.. she was so tired of the habit. And she asked how I managed. I told her it would be hard.. but that I had a couple helpful hints. First, don’t tell yourself that you just can’t live without them (cigarettes).. remember you were a kid once and you lived without smoking then, so it is entirely possible to live without them now. Think about it differently. And the other thing is to change your routine. Instead of getting in the car, keys in ignition, hand in purse for cigs, seat belt, light cig.. turn on music… car in motion… instead of that – make it a point to change the habit. So walk up to the car door.. stop… instead walk to the trunk unlock and put purse there. Then get in the car… your mind has been put to the test, think about what you are doing.. now .. keys in ignition, turn music on,,,, car in motion! As we finished the transaction, she said she was going to give it a try. I walked out of the store and never had another thought about that little chat about cigarettes.
A couple nights ago, wandering my way through those long aisles, wasting time until my plane lands…. a felt a tap on my shoulder. And there stood the above mentioned cashier. She said “Excuse me, I thought it was you! I just want to tell you thank you!” I am totally at a loss, and she must have sensed this, but she continued… “I was the cashier one night when you bought cigarettes for your friend. And you told me you were a non smoker. Well I remember what you told me and I have been making it work! I told myself I can do this and I did! I changed my smoking habit times into little games and it made things a little easier. It was hard at first but I did it!” Her words rushed out and her face just beamed.
And then everything went fuzzy….
Tears flooded my eyes… I felt my heart do the Grinch and swell 5 sizes in my chest. I just stood there, feeling all thick but washed in this wonderful feeling of being part of something bigger than myself. At the moment this all took place, I put it off to pleasant shock. But I have had the most…(well I just can’t say it in a word, but whenever I rerun this altercation in my mind I am swept up in the moment again and a..) wonderous feeling rushes through me. Which brings me back to that wicked burning question… what’s my purpose again?? Well no matter what that purpose is.. I am finding that on the road to that strange “Whatever” that draws me through this world, I – (me!!) -I make a difference in the lives of others. So no matter how I feel about my lot in life… someone, somewhere took something I said or did and those in turn will do the same without my even knowing. Just how many lives have I touched? I don’t know. I do know that I will not stop talking. Because I am very encouraged that my journey of “touching” others is far from over.