Vancouver, some time ago..
It was one of those rainy evenings where half the people were hiding under umbrellas and half were enjoying the droplets of water falling from the sky. I was half-hiding under my jacket. I liked rain. Even the heavy-torrential rain. More often than not, the weather was matching what I was feeling inside.
After a meeting I walked to the bus station and plugged my earbuds to listen to some music. At that time I was learning how to connect with people, always trying to be aware of my surroundings and what was going on around me. But that night I just didn’t want to pay attention to anything. I wanted to go back to that old familiar shell for a little treat called: alone with myself and nobody else around me in the middle of a crowded city. I’ve got that supernatural power where I am able to ignore everything around me.
He was sitting at the bus station and as soon as he saw me I knew he wanted to start a conversation. Not uncommon in this city but I was just not in the mood.
“Quite the rain tonight”.
I nodded and turned off my music. It’s one thing to not want to engage in a conversation but another thing to be respectful and to actually hear what the other person is trying to say. He said something about politics. I nodded again as politics is definitely not my field. He then stood up and picked up his take-out food from the small store behind the station that I somehow overlooked. He came back after a few seconds and sat again next to me. I was lost in my thoughts when he looked at me and said :
“Sometimes I like to sit and watch life go by. Oh, your bus is here. Nice talking to you.” And then he stood up and left the station.
Something happened in that moment.
When he said the first sentence I just saw all the cars rushing in front of us in slow motion.
“..watch life go by…”
When he said the second sentence I noticed the bus just turned the corner and thought he stood up to line up. At his last sentence I thought “I didn’t even say anything, how could this be a great conversation?”, and when he left the station I realized that after getting his food he sat back to wait with me until the bus was there and then took off disappearing in a side street.
I don’t know who that man was and I don’t want to know. It looked like life wasn’t easy with him and maybe there were countless decisions he regrets making in his life. Maybe he wanted someone to listen to him, maybe he wanted a conversation and I was just not in the moment.
But when “I like to sit and let life go by” came out of his mouth, right there, two people were watching life go by.
Me and Him.
And I didn’t like it. I don’t want to watch life go by. I Refuse to watch life go by. Life is meant to be lived, experienced and shared. You can’t stay on the sidelines forever. You are not meant to stay on the sidelines. Are you going to be a witness or a player? Which side is making you happy and which side is making you miserable? Think long and hard about it and decide with what bricks are you going to built your future. Escape the sidelines and get busy living. You have the power to leave a positive mark in this world!