I sit in Starbucks sipping my Venti Chai Tea Latte and observing people at the Charlotte, North Carolina airport on my way to Liberty University. Even amongst the chaos of people running to try to catch their next fight or scrambling to find enough change to buy a quick snack, there is a peace. Everyone has their own agenda and their own purpose for being here and everyone has their own story that makes them unique. Some people may be starting a new adventure, or even a new chapter in their life, while other people may be ending an adventure. You can learn a great deal simply by simply sitting still and observing those around you. Often we get caught up in our world and what we are doing and we forget to appreciate others.
On my way to this spot I encountered a woman. She worked in the airport bathroom, but she did not seem tired or upset to be there. Every person who walked into the bathroom she greeted with joy, directing them to the nearest empty stall with such enthusiasm you would think you just won the lottery. Her tip jar by the door was overflowing with change because she took joy in a job that many of us would be embarrassed to have or ashamed to do.
There is the woman with dark skin and her hair pulled back into a ponytail working behind the counter dealing with frustrated customers, grateful customers, and even some seemingly deaf customers to whom she has to repeat herself at least four times in hopes of them finally hearing. Throughout the entire thing she must maintain composure, not letting it show that there is probably a million other places she would rather be. For her, this is simply a daily routine.
I shift my attention over to my right and lay eyes on a businessman who, like me, is sitting in Starbucks with a laptop open in front of him. He is clothed in a blue and white-checkered button down, blue jeans, and sneakers. He is waiting. He tries to focus yet every couple of seconds he glances up and looks around. His distraction extends further as he reaches into his right pocket to check his phone. He does this consistently, most likely either checking the time or waiting for information from someone else. He stares at his computer for a couple more minutes looking frustrated before packing up his charger and laptop. After one last glance at his laptop screen he gets up and moves on from his spot in the airport.
For me, today is a beginning- an opportunity to go and visit a college that I may want to spend the next four years attending. The person that I am right now, sitting here, is probably somebody slightly different from the person that I will be a couple weeks or even a couple of days from now.
It is important to take time out of our own busy lives to observe others and learn from their actions. By observing others we can learn many things: how to be grateful for what we have and the opportunities we receive, an understanding that not everyone is in the same place we are, and that everyone has their own story.
July 14th, 2015
This morning Kyle and I woke up and walked down to breakfast together again right when it started around half past seven. Each morning it seemed as if the cafeteria area got more and more empty. We got to class and took a bus from the Mount Vernon campus to the Foggy Bottom campus and then took public bus transportation over to Union Station, which was our destination for the day. At Union Station we were given a couple of hours to wander around and write about or take pictures of whatever inspired us. I walked around with George for a while and then we decided to go and get smoothies from Jamba Juice. I purchased a delicious Piña Colada. While there we met up with Essi, Bri, and Carmen. When we left Jamba Juice George went off on his own and the girls and I went down to the bottom floor of Union Station to order crepes. I got a ham, cheese, olive, and tomato crepe that was very good and would be my replacement lunch for the day instead of eating the West Hall Dining food.
When we got back from Union Station, Carmen and I opted out of lunch and went to our room instead to eat left-overs from the other day, watch the Bachelorette, and take naps. In our afternoon class session we spent the majority of the time working on our various projects during studio work time. I finished up some lose ends on various projects and started a project involving my photography and Union Station. After class ended Essi, Carmen, and I headed over to the gym to get in a quick work-out before we headed over to the pool. Carmen and I did a warm-up mile and then a core workout that Reinaldo joined us for and then we finished with a quick cool-down mile. Once we were drenched with sweat we headed back to our dorms to throw on our bathing suits and head to the pool. Essi, Andrew, Matthew, Kyle, and I hung out at the pool for about forty-five minutes before we went back to the dorm to clean-up before dinner. We heard rumors about dinner being completely awful almost to the point of being inedible so Andrew, Kyle, Matthew, and I opted to order Chinese food. It was a worth-while investment.
Our Chinese food arrived just as the Vern Cup was starting. The Vern Cup was basically just trivia. I stayed for the beginning of it, but then I was not feeling great and needed some time away from people screaming, so I wandered down to the soccer fields. I hung out down there and played football with some of the guys until Alex began to organize his football game. Andrew came down to the fields to check on me and he walked me back to the dorm. He headed back to the Vern Cup for a little, but soon came back and we just relaxed and watched the movie Juno because it is one of my favorites, but he had never seen it before. The movie did not end until about ten thirty, but at that point I had about fifteen text messages from Kyle asking me where I was and what I was doing. I went upstairs and we hung out and talked until it was our curfew. Then Carmen and I watched some more of the Bachelorette before turning in for the night.