One of my favorites from Poets.org
Today I spoke with my Uber driver more than normal. Usually I try to keep my mouth shut.
It’s not that I have anything against speaking to the driver, it’s just that I get anxious about having to make small talk. I don’t have a problem speaking with other people, but I get anxious about needing to maintain chit-chat for a 30 minute ride. That’s a lot of chitting and chatting. But today was different.
This driver seemed like she needed someone to speak with. She was going through some pretty rough stuff with her children and grandchildren and I got the feeling that she just needed to tell the story to someone with a sympathetic ear. Once I sensed that, I encouraged the conversation— and for those of you who know me, you’ll realize that that’s very much unlike me. Even though the majority of my career involves speaking to others, I tend to be pretty quiet when I’m off the clock.
The driver had some tough stuff going on— her small grandchild had severe medical issues; her daughter dropped out of high school last year and she’s embarked on a career as a stripper. I imagine that those aren’t the kind of problems that are easy to share. So I listened, and I didn’t judge. And I could tell she was happy to have the opportunity to unload.
I think the driver appreciated our conversation. It made me feel good about myself to know that I might have given her an opportunity to vent.
I’m glad I decided to speak to the driver tonight.
There are items that I have on a wish list of things to do. It’s a bunch of things that I want to get to one day — like learning a language or gettin better at playing blues guitar. The thing that makes me sad, however, is that I’ve been carrying those things on that list for years and I haven’t made any progress on any of the items. Is there really any reason for me to continue to keep that list?
It appears that I won’t ever get to them. I mean, I’ve had down time here and there and I didn’t chose to dedicate that down time to pursuing those things. I’m just starting to come to the realization that I’m not going to get to do those things. And that’s painful.
I feel defeated. I’m upset with myself for not pursing those things. But I take solace in the fact that the reason I haven’t pursued those goals is because I’ve been dedicating my time to achieving other long term goals. And I’ve made significant progress in those other areas. For instance, I’m pleased with my career, and I get out to see fun shows and interesting art, But it appears that I won’t ever learn that other language nor achieve some other wish list items.
I should move on. I should take them off my list.
But I won’t.
There is something calming about Mt. Fuji. I admit to not really knowing much about the icon, except that it holds a very special place in the hearts of the Japanese people. All I know for sure is that when I see it I feel a sudden sense of calm, and I need that every now and again. That’s why I subscribe to the Twitter handle @Fujidelic. Every so often, amid the noise of my Twitter feed, up pops a serene picture of Mt. Fuji. And I stop and breathe deep for just a second.
Picture from @Fujidelic
If you like Hip Hop and you’re not listening to Chance the Rapper, you need to start.
I know I should have heard about him earlier, but I’m just discovering his work. I’ve been listening to his album “Coloring Book” for a few days now. It’s got a lot of depth and the production value is incredible.
(Warning: if you don’t like explicit lyrics and the n-word, then don’t watch this video).