It’s the last day of 2015 and I feel like I finally have a good vision for my goals and hopes and dreams for 2016. Strangely enough, most of this came from writing random quotes on my suitcase.
I’ve been meaning to personalize my hard-shell suitcase for a while, and yesterday it took the form of random quotes and phrases that I like.
“You are worth more than a thousand perfect notes.” -August (Cait)
“Just because you made a mistake, doesn’t mean you are a mistake.”
And this morning, “you are beautiful” made an appearance.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been carrying around a sharpie and a tiny post-it note pad in my backpack and when I find myself alone in a public bathroom, I write “you are beautiful” on a post-it and stick it to the mirror. I don’t quite know why, but the idea of affecting or influencing a stranger’s life, and being an anonymous stranger to them, is very appealing to me. I don’t need the credit, I don’t want to be acknowledged. That’s not why I stick post-it notes to mirrors or write encouraging quotes on my suitcase.
The point is that I’m thinking outside of myself. Not enough people do that. Hardly ANYONE does that. So often I feel like I’m the only person in the world who really sees strangers for the real people that they are. But you know what? To those strangers, you’re just a stranger, just a body, a nameless face that they don’t know anything about and probably couldn’t care less about either.
I love people. I love strangers. I like to smile at the people in the airport that I’ll never see again. I like to say encouraging things to people on twitter who don’t know who I am. I like to leave post-it notes on mirrors for the girl who has an eating disorder. I like to write quotes on my suitcase for the luggage handler who is having a bad day.
And so for 2016, I decided to make it a concrete goal to focus on you. You, the grocery store checker who’s not at fault for my item ringing up the wrong price. You, the Southwest kiosk manager who has to inform everyone that all the flights to Chicago have been canceled due to the weather. You, the person I sit next to on the plane. You, the person I can smile at while passing on the sidewalk. You, the waitress at the restaurant. You, the person reading this blog post. You, the stranger who represents all the strangers in the world to me. You are my vision for 2016. To drop that smile, to be extra patient and polite, to write a note on a mirror for you. To look outside of myself to all the other people in the world who are tired, hurting, aching, crying on the inside. Who might just be craving a random act of kindness from a random loving stranger. You are who I want to reach, to influence, to help this year.
May I make your day a little brighter, your burden a little lighter, and your life a little better.