Public transportation chronicles, part two…
I’ve always loved taking public transportation because it feels so peaceful and freeing. I can sit and process all of my thoughts. I can listen to music, meditate, etc, with no distractions. Well that really depends on where I am. But anyway, I’m beginning to love it even more. At this point in my life, I’ve become more open to people. I’m always open and up for a conversation with a random person. So, it’s story time lol..
Last night as I was waiting for the bus, I met a lady. I just missed the 7:50 bus by a few minutes, so I had to wait for the 8:30. While I waited, there was a big argument going on with a couple of Hispanic men. I had no idea what they were arguing about because I don’t understand the language, but it started dragging out and getting louder and louder. So of course myself and everyone around became rather annoyed. So this lady turns to me and laughs, which led us to conversing.
She asked which bus I waiting for to see if we were getting the same bus. She then began to talk about how she lives in a residential area, which is boring, so loves that she works in the city. She then went on to say that she’s from Guyana and how things in America are so much different.
After a little while, she explained to me how her parents raised her and all the values they instilled in her at a very young age. One thing in particular was young women never left home until they were married. She was taught never to move in with a man before she was married to him.
She then told me how she came to America on her own. She explained how she came here with absolutely nothing. When she first came, she realized it wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be living here. She lived and started working for her cousins. Although they were her family, they only paid her $2 an hour when minimum wage was about $7. Because of her kind nature, one day while she worked someone offered her a job as a nanny. She said she had to think about it first because had she gotten another job, her cousins wouldn’t allow her to stay with them. She was able to live in the basement of the family that offered her the job, so she took the position.
While she was working with her cousins, she met her current husband. She explained how when they first went out she was so shy to even eat around him because in her country they were never allowed to go places with the men. They dated for three years before they got engaged. After he proposed to her, he asked her to move in with him, but she said she wouldn’t until they were married. She talked about how although she was away from her parents and at an age where she could make her own decisions, she could never forget the values her parents taught her.
She’s now married to a teacher working at a shoe company owned by the family she worked for as a nanny. She’s getting paid good money and makes her own schedule. Also living in a very nice residential area.
There are so many things that I took from this twenty minute conversation. Definitely an inspiring and motivating encounter.
If someone can literally start from nothing, making two dollars an hour, why is it impossible for me to take all the I have, the education I was given, and the job that I don’t always feel is enough, to make things happen for myself. I have something I can build from. Everything that we desire in life is going to require work. We can’t sit and expect things to just fall into our laps, we have to keep working despite the struggle. And that’s something this woman did.
When things become difficult, begin to think about this. Not just this lady in particular, but many other people have had to start literally from nothing. If they can push through it and make something of themselves, why can’t we?
Another thing I took from this, never forget your values and your teachings. Many of us grew up on certain beliefs and taught by our parents. Many times when we reach a certain age, we just forget all about those things. Sometimes we just get that little taste of freedom and take off. In some cases, all that we’ve been taught can take us places. This women stood her ground and didn’t let go of her standards because of what she was taught. How many times have we or someone we know let go of our standards because of someone else and ended up in a place we didn’t belong. So never lower your standards and push your beliefs aside to appease someone else and put yourself in the wrong place or position.
One last thing, this woman was kind to everyone although things were tough for her while she worked for practically no money. Her kindness opened doors for her to become a nanny and have a place to stay. And because the family she worked for loved her so much, she was able to receive a job at their company. We have to realize our attitude also takes us places. If this woman kept her mind on her situation, she probably wouldn’t be where she is today.
So let’s remember, it’s never impossible to get further ahead in life. Learn to take what you have and build from there, stand firm on what you believe without lowering your standards, and keep a positive attitude through it all, being kind to everyone you encounter. It’ll all take you somewhere!