I’ll first start out by saying that both my car and I are perfectly intact.
I was rear-ended this week on my way to work.
I’ve only ever been in one accident in my life and it was with a school bus in my high school parking lot (#tbt to my week as Regina George). Needless to say, the jolt forward of my car brought back a *sigh* to my lungs in remembrance and instant thoughts of how I was going to be late to our all-company meeting that morning.
As I pulled onto a side street to get off the major road, I saw the look of shock on the woman behind me’s face and I prayed for the best.
I jumped out of my car and walked to the back to meet the sweetest lady that you could ever have rear-end your car. She was nice, told me I was pretty (*shucks*) and was most concerned with if I was okay. She told me that I was being so kind and that I should be more upset with her.
I stuck out my hand to introduce myself and again, she wore that look of shock from moments before. Her name, Amy, was really all she could get out. Once we truly assessed the situation and learned that everything was a-okay, we both gave our well-wishes (complementing her adorable boots, too) and got in our cars.
(Yes, I was late to our all-company meeting but no one noticed.)
What I really noticed from this situation was that we often expect the worst and make ourselves sick with anxiety.
I stumbled upon this quote, from an unlikely source of advice. It stuck with me just like I hope my kindness stuck with Amy:
“My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.” – New Scamander
Oh Newt, what a wise fictional character. This week I saw first-hand that worry can just eat you apart but that kindness can turn your day around.
I didn’t think anything of my kindness toward Amy when she rear-ended me. I was mostly just relieved to not have to deal with insurance.
I was worried, however, when I made a call at work that had I talked myself into thinking was a horrible decision. I really didn’t want to have to tell my boss or my boss’ boss, but I did. And to hear that I had actually made the right call made me physically relax. Worrying made me suffer twice but I’m proud of myself for not sitting quietly and hoping that no one noticed, because I knew someone would. I’m proud of myself for acting upon my worry and not wallowing in my worry.
I’m also proud of myself for showing kindness and striving to be a better person each and every day. More positive. More risk-taking. Taking more ownership. Showing more kindness.
I think that when we work through our worry and push ourselves to be kind, we shock people. Amy didn’t believe that I could show so much kindness to her after she was worried she messed up my day. My boss’ boss showed incredible kindness when she affirmed my decision and helped take my worries away. I shocked myself when I made the first move in both situations.
So my takeaways are: be kind, even when you don’t want to be, worrying helps nothing,
be kind, even when you don’t want to be,
kindness sticks with us,
worrying helps nothing,
worry is not the same thing as thoughtfulness,
and that “shocking” can be a good look for us all.
Go and be shocking, my friends. Kindness can be sticky.