Two Women Changed My Life And They Don't Even Know I Exist

By Ilenka • September 10, 2018

These two ladies profoundly impacted my life and I will never be able to thank them personally, so I will do it here.

First, to the random teenage girl on the train:

You were talking with your friend. She seemed really depressed because she could not get a boyfriend. I was half listening to the conversation while dozing off and heard you say:

"WHY do you want a boyfriend so much? What do you think will change in your life after getting a boyfriend?"

That woke me up. At the time, I was obsessing over getting a particular "dream job". I was depressed and anxious about it, I was crying over it. I was feeling like such a failure. It was all I could think or talk (and complain) about.

As soon as I got home, I made a list: "Things that I think will change if I get my dream job".

It ended up being such a long list. I was basically blaming all of life's problems, big and small on not having this particular job. Not only that, but I was also putting things "on hold"' until after I got this job for no good reason. Like I needed a particular job title to join a gym or practice my hobby.

So I took that list and started DOING everything I wrote down. I started addressing the problems directly and finding outlets for the things I was not satisfied with. I still wanted the job, but my happiness did not depend on it. Since then, when I find myself obsessing over a particular thing, I always take the time to think if I'm using it as an excuse to not work on other problems I might have.

Thank you, teenage girl on the train. You were trying to help your friend and changed a stranger's life instead.

Second, to the woman that lives in an apartment somewhere above me:

You moved to the building shortly after I did. I heard some people move what sounded like a very heavy object up the stairs and you thanking them with such happiness in your voice. And then I heard music. You almost didn't wait for the movers to leave before you started playing that piano. And you kept playing. Every day.

Every day I heard the piano and I remember thinking "She plays beautifully, I wish I was that good at my hobby". And then I felt like an idiot. Because I was hearing you play every day while I was wasting time online. So I closed my laptop and got practicing.

I'm trying to build that habit now. Sometimes it's hard to find that motivation, sometimes I forget. But every day I hear you play, and every time I stop what I'm doing and practice for a little bit. I'm still not great, but I'm getting better.

Thank you, lady who lives in my building. You are just practicing a skill you enjoy and you inspired a stranger to do the same.

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