This morning, I got in the subway holding a box containing my sculpture project. I was on my way to college and I was tired since I had only slept 3 hours that night. I was standing, holding myself to a pole with one hand, and holding the box with the other. I looked behind me and met the eyes of an old woman who looked kind of homeless. Two stations later, somebody next to her got up and out, so I went to sit next to the woman. “Good thing you sat down, holding that box standing up in the metro is not obvious,” she said. I looked at her and acknowledged her claim with a slight smile and a simple ‘yeah’. Then she said to me, in a joyful way, “stay the way you are.” I was quite confused and surprised, so I looked at her and my first reaction was to say “what?” as if I hadn’t heard what she had said. She then told me, “actually, I was observing you and I noticed something, so I wanted to tell you to stay the way you are. Never let anyone influence your being.” The woman was smiling and seemed very happy and proud to be telling me this. She had a missing tooth, a blue coat, and an elated glance. I smiled back and thanked her for the kind words. I didn’t know her, she didn’t know me, she had made my day, she had changed my day, and as everything seemed the same and went down the same, deep inside it wasn’t.
Good thing I didn’t skip my class that morning.