sharing the chickens
Someone once wrote me this in a letter, and recently I find myself going back to it often.
And in case you didn't know, you're one of the most excited people I know. Meaning you find little things that you're then inspired by and its phenomenal to watch. People feed off of that energy. So keep it. Roll with it. Don't ever let that get away from you.
People don't often share things like this with me in typical conversation, so I imagine it took him a bit of courage to send this. I never told him, but these few lines have a profound impact on me and continues to inspire me how I want to live my life.
I've been thinking a lot about attitude lately, and more specifically its ripple effect. Over the holidays my sister told me that I complained a lot, and this has stuck with me longer than I anticipated. Her comments surprised me because I didn't think that I complained that much, and actually I didn't think I really shared anything. Easily listing off complaints about my commute to work, extravagant rent, being stressed at work - it sounded like she was right. I do recognize how lucky I am, however I often think of my life as a logistical nightmare. The feeling of having all of these puzzle pieces, but I can't figure out how to fit them into a puzzle that makes sense.
I've decided that this year I want to be more positive. To listen more, and be more thoughtful of the people in my life. Often I feel like I get stuck in this mental space that everything is about me. As a result, I don't think I pay enough attention to how my attitude and actions impact those around me.
I love being outside and looking up at the stars against the massive trees because I am reminded of how small I am. It's the one time when feeling insignificant is a wonderful thing. Maybe this feeling is not original at all, but often in these settings I suddenly see myself in the third person (as if I'm some drone looking down at myself), and then "dun dun" - "dun dun" plays in my head as I zoom out and out. And then I can't see myself anymore and I'm in space, thinking of the big bang, evolution, and a potential apocalypse. Suddenly the things that are stressing me out seem so miniscule in the grand scheme of things, and seem so petty.
Similar to the "light-up-tumbleweed" moments, I'm finding that the more positive I am, the more often I find myself surrounded by people with the same positivity. And then it seems like everyone is laughing more, and feeling comfortable and confident. And then that carries over to the next interaction, opening more doors. Like what he said, it's like people really do feed off the energy - and that's when the magic starts to happen.
I don't anticipate having amazing days all the time, and I've been on the other side where I'm silently hoping that someone will help pull me out of a funk. And then someone changes your whole day by telling you this random story about how "the muscle man came and ate ALL the 'chickens'" and suddenly you're laughing your ass off for the first time all day.
You never really know what someone else might be going through at a given moment. Maybe looking for a connection, or looking for comfort. Looking for a distraction, or maybe just something else from what they are thinking at the moment.
Having been on the receiving end of this, I don't want to miss the opportunity of making someone else's day better. Especially if it's something small like telling someone you care about good morning, or asking someone how their day was, or giving a stranger a big smile. Just thinking about it, I can imagine the positive energy passing from one interaction to the next. In the beginning, it does require putting in a little more energy and a little more intention, but it seems like a bargain when looking at potential outcome of making someone else feel like they matter.
But that's just it. You just draw just a little bit of energy, and then put it into the system. Into these "random" interactions you have, over and over again. And then gradually, little by little, everything and everyone becomes connected just a little bit more. And even as people physically weave in and out of your life, in energy - they are still with you every day in this magical way.