How do you feel about random strangers starting conversations with you while you’re outdoors? I suppose it depends on where you live. If you’re from a small town, you’re probably used to knowing everyone in your neighborhood, and you probably welcome new neighbors with open arms. If you live in a large city, even some of your neighbors might be strangers to you, and you may not feel comfortable talking to random strangers on the street. It might also depend on your personality and how comfortable you are with meeting new people. I’ve mentioned before that I’m generally nervous around people I don’t know. I like being polite, however, so I’m always willing to give acknowledgement and a polite smile whenever I catch a stranger’s eye. I suppose this must be a welcoming sign since strangers start conversations with me often. There is one particular interaction with a stranger that really stood out to me, one that I will never forget.
I was in college during the time, and had class on that particular day. During my lunch break, I decided to go to Burger King to get something to eat (not the healthiest choice! I know). I often ate lunch with some of my classmates during my time in college, but was expecting to eat lunch alone that day. That was until an older woman walked in, ordered her meal, and asked to join me. The restaurant was full at the time, and there was an empty seat in front of me, so I wasn’t surprised. I also didn’t mind, and I told the lady so. When she sat down, she immediately started opening up to me.
“I’m just visiting”, she said.
The lady lived in another state (I live in the U.S.) and she was just visiting to attend a funeral. Her daughter’s funeral. Her daughter had been suffering from from kidney failure, and was on dialysis for a long time.
“Make sure you always drink enough water”, the lady told me.
Towards the end, we sat in comfortable silence for a few minutes. Then the lady wished me a good day and left. By the time the lady left, I had long since finished my meal, but I stayed in the restaurant until the lady was ready to leave. She seemed to need someone to vent to, and I was more than happy to lend a listening ear. By the time the lady left, she seemed to have gotten her feelings off of her chest. Little did she know, though, that she helped me as well.
I have a serious love for all things fruit flavored. Whenever my sweet tooth starts throwing a fit, drinking some juice and smoothies, and eating yogurts and popsicles are my favorites ways to soothe it! My family often reminded to make sure I’m drinking enough water. They often shared concern about the health of my kidneys. My father always told me he didn’t want me to end up on dialysis. It’s a very unpleasant experience he’d say. Ironically, I met a woman who who gave me the same warning, and whose daughter suffered the very same fate my family was trying to protect me from.
Since that day, I’ve started trying to take those warnings seriously. My efforts aren’t perfect. Changing my habits is definitely difficult, but right now I am very proud of the changes I’ve managed to make. I’ve cut back on sugar a lot. My family still gives me reminders to drink enough water now and again, but they notice my efforts. Life has a funny way of giving you advice, answers, or inspiration. You never know where-or who-they will come from.