I noticed feeling a bit uneasy when a Toronto Starbucks forgot to put a lid on my cheery, holiday cup.
Where is my lid? I thought. What if I was headed out in a hurry? Who are they to force me into being open when I’d rather be closed?
At first I concluded, “Oh, right, they’re trying to reduce waste.” Then I realized, maybe they want us to stay awhile, enjoy ourselves, and remain open to what’s happening now. That’s when I met Richard.
Let me rewind for a moment. 24 hours prior to the Universe sending me Richard, I traveled internationally for the first time in my 25 years of life (alone, might I add), and woke up in an empty apartment to the reality that if I were to enjoy my time in Toronto, it would be a solo adventure in a country I knew not, for an entire day with nothing but a map and terrible cell service. To say the very least, I was slowly dying inside and needed a cup of coffee for survival.
I sat at a cozy two-seater table a safe distance from any strangers still wondering where the hell the lid to my cup was when Richard quickly walked past. I shoved my nose in a book titled, “No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life” and attempted to leave my mind for a few minutes when Richard reappeared.
At the time, this ‘stranger’ asked if he could sit down and share the outlet to charge his phone before catching the Greyhound. Incurably nervous and unable to speak, I smiled and nodded to the seat opposite me. I soon learned that Richard studied at a university in Canada. We made small chat about HMTL coding, I white-lied about graduating college in psych and sociology (I was nervous!), and he believed me. If his interpersonal skills and eye contact weren’t intimidating enough for this bipolar introvert, the thought of chatting with a stranger quite overwhelmed me – and yet, it didn’t. What is the Universe teaching me? I thought.
We laughed about silly American and Canadian stereotypes, and within 45 minutes, this friendly stranger stood up to leave. I hesitantly stood with him, we shook hands, and ended with an introduction. “I’m Richard, by the way. Nice to meet you. What’s your name?”
I thanked him for the chat, and he smiled, “Hey, that’s what coffee shops are for, right?”
And he was gone.
Totally impressed with myself for chatting up a complete stranger and surviving, I took to my journal.
“Thank you, Richard. Thank you, Universe.
Today of all days, I needed genuine interest, genuine eye contact, genuine human interaction. Now I’m sitting and staring at the empty chair opposite me wondering if Richard knows how grateful I am? He couldn’t, and that’s okay.”
I think that day took me by such surprise that I forgot one last thank you.
Thank you, Starbucks for leaving no choice but to be open that day in Toronto. Thank you for the subtle reminder to be open in all areas of life. There is no time like today, no time like the present, certainly no time like this very moment. I wonder what life would be like if everyone tossed their lids and remained open to all possibilities right now?
The glass is full, it is open, now go and introduce yourself to life.
Posted via @starbucks wifi