The Little Things
Little things mean the world to me. A thoughtful text message, a completely unexpected surprise, a random phone call, a hug that communicates every emotion a heart can feel, a sweet reminder, a needed compliment, a touch.
The other day, I got Dunkin Donuts at this random place on the drive back from Dallas. I literally had to contain myself as my hand clutched the bag of munchkins until I walked out of the store. Before getting in the car, I literally jumped up and down and spun in circles with excitement. Who does that?
These past few days, I’ve been watching “The Voice” Blind Auditions. And my heart can’t help but feel fully invested in every episode. It’s crazy. I become the girl who feels attached to the performer and my heart hopes and aches and feels for her as she sings. I want the coaches’ chairs to turn around. I want her to be chosen. And when a chair turns, my face glows with excitement; I can’t help but smile from cheek to cheek; I literally cheer at the small screen on my laptop and clap like I’m in the audience at a concert.
The smallest things that take virtually no effort for each of us to do have THE greatest effect on me.
Because little things mean THE WORLD to me. Can you understand the gravity of that sentence? The world. This world has over six billion people on it. There are relationships blossoming right now - unwavering loves, first kisses, undying marriages. This world is booming with laughter and smiles. That is a LOT of happiness confined to one place. There are flowers blooming and birds singing and waterfalls flowing. It’s majestic. This world is majestic. You may feel like a small, insignificant speck as you live your day-to-day, but wow, can you imagine? If you embrace every moment and appreciate the little things with your whole heart, you could feel the ENTIRE WORLD in your being. And you’d never feel small again. Because how could you? How could someone small fit so much of the world’s greatness into his heart? You’re not insignificant. You could never be. You’re larger than life, and the moment you allow yourself to be fully invested in the beauty of every moment, big or small, is the moment you’ll be able to feel the perfection of this entire world in your very soul.
That’s how much the little things mean to me.
A World Without Gratitude
Imagine a world without gratitude. Crazy, right? Can you imagine a world where nothing you do matters to anyone? A world where - you never hear a thank you; you never receive an appreciative hug; no one ever cries happy tears after realizing your existence has made such a difference to them, not at weddings, not at graduations, not at birthdays, not at all in life? Can you imagine? Can you imagine a world where, it’s not that you can’t express thankfulness to someone, it’s just that such a feeling doesn’t exist? A world where gratitude never comes on your heart; a life where, when someone lends a shoulder or gives you that hug you’ve been needing for days, you feel nothing? Such a world that when a stranger ahead in line pays for your coffee or lets you change lanes in front of them during a traffic jam so you can exit, you feel no need or even desire to express thanks? A world where your loved ones will never realize how thankful you are for the things they do or the words they say; a world where nobody in your life will EVER know how much they mean to you? Can you imagine? A world without gratitude? Crazy, right?
And yet, we sometimes let even days pass without expressing it.
God, this is true for so many people who have made their way into my life. #grateful
We’ve Become Routine
That morning, we walked into the most beautiful school I’ve seen in ages. The lawn was perfectly green, and the trees were beautifully trimmed. We walked a pathway between a large orange building, a smaller yellow building, and one a shade of blue. The sun shined down and the breeze blew the hair out of our faces… it was a stunning sight.
While playing an icebreaker, we introduced ourselves to the trainees who we would be working with, “My name is Narmeen Kapadia. I’m studying Information Systems at The University of Texas at Austin…”
It was at that moment that I realized I hadn’t thought about my life at UT for the past 4 days. I hadn’t thought about my normal, everyday routine. I hadn’t missed waking up in the morning, making my own breakfast, drinking chocolate milk, packing my lunch, prancing to campus while listening to music, sitting through classes, studying for exams. I hadn’t missed seeing friends or spontaneously going to Thai Spice or Veggie Heaven. I hadn’t missed driving to Five Guys on a day when I was craving cajun fries. I felt completely detached from my everyday routine at UT. I felt completely detached from the life I had only a week ago. It’s strange, but I found it hard to identify myself with the person I was just the week before.
While in Belize, I imagined a version of myself amongst the stars in space, looking down on myself in a country pretty far away from Texas, the home I had known for so long. I imagined myself as a small speck on the whole world, far away from the routine I had become so familiar with after 22 years of my life.
Every issue we struggle with each day, every self-conscious thought we have, every argument we get into, every tear that falls from our eyes, is tied to the routine with which we’ve become so comfortable. But my experience in Belize taught me that the world is so much bigger than our everyday routine. Your life is capable of so much more than your day-to-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Your existence can handle a journey; your being can embrace the idea of being a small speck in the world because it knows it has the potential to make a vast difference. And here we are living our lives comfortably through a routine… when our souls were made for so much more.
Spring Break 2013: Orange Walk, Belize.
I’m going to try to write several posts throughout this week to articulate my experiences and thoughts, but I swear words can’t do this trip justice. It was amazing in every way possible. I could not have imagined a more perfect group of people with whom to share such an incredible experience. The people I worked with, the trainees I met, the relationships we all created, the lives that were changed… it’s like - I try to think back to last week - I try to explain in words and “debrief” with friends about every moment, but the way I feel right now is exactly how Charlie felt at the end of Perks of Being a Wallflower:
“I know these will all be stories someday. And our pictures will become old photographs. We’ll all become somebody’s mom or dad. But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening… This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song on that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite.”
— The Perks of Being a Wallflower