After my embarrassment wore off and I continued with my day interning in New York City, I found myself on the train home next to a 40-something year old Pakistani man, who was sweet as can be. Everyone stared as we talked. He said he was an engineer and a part-time teacher at the school where his commuting bag was clearly from. He was heading home to his family after a long day as we swapped stressful stories of our days.
He left me with one line of wisdom, something his father had always told him: “Wise people learn from others’ mistakes,” he said, “Fools learn from their own.”
I’ve been feeling like a fool myself, since I have always thought that as long as I learned something from a mistake, it was worth it. This man made me realize that this idea can be taken a step further.
Instead of quickly acting like no embarrassing mistake has just happened, I’m going to pin-point each spastic moment so you can ensure you don’t run into the same commuting blunders, or at least you can know you are not alone when you literally fall on your face, because yes, I’ve been there.
Everyone has had a day when they’ve walked into work with a coffee stain on their shirt or their hair frizzy or their tie all the way to the left. If you haven’t had one of these moments yet, don’t worry; your time is coming.
We all know the old adage “don’t sweat the small stuff.” What they don’t tell you is to also appreciate the little things too. Chances are if you stay observant, especially while commuting, you will find little gems that make your day. These gems will offset those pestering little obstacles. Some days, you will feel like your running the 400 hurdles, as it seems like every 20 meters there is something in your way. Other days, it’ll feel like a high jump with one main problem. Even if you feel as though your facing a pole vault, I promise you will get through whatever commuting problem you have. It may take hours upon hours, days upon days of practice and training, but in the end, you will get over it. Eventually, you will end up with a steady stride as if you are running through the woods, marveling at the trees, animals and hey, look! A waterfall! You’ll be breathing in the fresh air and feeling great.
Or maybe not, since I have been tripping over rocks and falling on my face myself… At least you’ll have something to laugh at. (And if not, there’s always Aziz to pick up the slack!)