This week I had the wonderful experience of waiting in line at a government office to get some paperwork updated. I waited so long with a group a people that I ended up with sunburn where my hair parts on the top of my head. Imagine waiting in line for 5 hours with no bathrooms and no food because it stretched from early morning until they closed the doors on anyone left in the line.
When I arrived at the office, I didn’t expect a line that stretched around the block. Then, I started to hear other people who had tried calling but couldn’t get through on the phone, and that had tried several days before. As I shifted my aching legs back and forth, I realized that TikTok could only last so long. I didn’t want to wear out my battery before I had to return home in case I needed to call someone.
The pain of the group experience was felt by all those waiting in line to get the same information updated. We all held our paperwork with hope in our eyes the first hour but as it dragged on, I started to see everyone’s patience wear. Fatigue set in and people sat on the grass. Some had friends bring them lunch. The smart ones who’ve done this before had folding chairs. I had no idea that I had joined a different kind of marathon that lead to nowhere but locked doors.
Calling the next day, only to be put on hold for hours left with the same results. My stubbornness, left me waiting in line until the doors locked and the phone ringing for hours. As I went through this experience, I wished I went through more of David Sedaris’ MasterClass because I wasn’t open to those around me. I spent time getting annoyed by a male who kept standing too close to me, or avoiding eye contact with a lady who also felt the need to invade my personal space.
I should have been more open and receptive because I may have missed a story. I guess it’s time to put down some of my shields and just deal with the fact that I’m the kind of person who attracts all the characters dressed up at amusement parks, or the ones I call the “weirdos”. Most of the time I fell like my life is going to a party and seeing someone really interesting but as you start to walk over to them, everyone you didn’t want to talk to gets in the way by trying to make small talk. I get annoyed because my time is precious.
I guess I should stop getting annoyed at the universe when it senses that I’m trying to get someone done, or trying to meet that someone at a party. Maybe if I stopped feeling like one of the characters in my books who’s on a quest but a fire breathing dragon suddenly swoops down in front of them. I mean, evil and ugly step sisters only make the main character better looking and more appealing. No, I just need to remind myself to be the hero of the journey and maybe remind a few people that I’m also the one who writes the villains when invade my personal space.
Okay, that part might not be a David Sedaris lesson but it makes things more interesting when I’m out in the world. Suddenly, those weirdos get turned into minor characters in stories or something to blog about. At least, they give me something to do. I’ll start to practice asking better questions or observations to ease my own patience as I move into the weekend. I’ll also remind myself to make the most of my time, especially when I’m standing in line or getting diverted from the person I want to see.
Here’s your prompt for today. Turn the ordinary into a story today by preparing before you go about your day and weekend. Get those questions ready to ask. Be like a TikToker and try asking someone you know an odd question. Most of all, do your best to remain open to new stories. Write them down.
Remember, to share and comment. I would like to hear about your experiences too.
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