In between the hectic of working, trying to eat healthy, exercising, spending time with family and friends, I also do my nails twice a month.
The salon I go to is your typical walk-in Chinese nail salon, which primarily looks like a factory with multiple nail stylists sitting in a row trying to help as many people in as little time as possible.
It was a Saturday when I walked in, and it was busier than usual, with women of all colors and ages, some moms with their daughters, others speaking in a foreign language.
The moment I walked in, I quickly looked around to see if there was any free space available, but when I noticed every chair was busy, I decided to stand against the wall and wait my turn patiently. Usually, I have to wait for 10-15 minutes. But on this specific day, it took longer.
While waiting, a few other women walked in, asking the salon manager what the wait time was, and he replied minimum 40 minutes. Some women got irritated and left, and I could hear others complaining about the wait. While I was still standing against the wall, waiting patiently, I could feel this poor man’s heart pounding faster in his chest, thinking of how to attend to everyone in time while also keeping everyone happy.
35 minutes went by, the salon manager who was at that time busy coloring a lady’s nails with a bright reddish color looked up at me with this concerned expression on his face... asking me to take a seat. I looked around, and there was no empty seat in sight.
So I gently smiled and said this: "I sat the whole day so standing now actually feels good."
While speaking those words, something happened then and there in a quick moment…
A moment which in my luck I got to witness because I was not on my phone or not in my thoughts.
What I got to observe was a lovely interaction with a stranger who I normally would have no connection with whatsoever.
However At that exact moment, while he witnessed my smile, I looked back at him, and I observed a slight sparkle in his eyes. As if his eyes were talking to me and telling me “Thank You for being kind.”
So what I did next, is what I always do,
I Smiled again.
And softly said, “Take your time…, I have nowhere to go”.
It seems like we are so caught up in the hectic of our daily busy lives, everyone is so busy trying to be somewhere else, escaping the moment we are in right now by reaching for our phones (this is especially something i'm guilty of) or getting caught up in our thoughts that we miss out. We miss out on small moments which can have the most substantial impact…
Had I not been paying attention in that exact moment, I would not have made a connection, a connection so profound, I can still feel the warm feeling in my heart, that for one moment, just one…I managed to take one person’s troubles away. In this one moment l felt a sense of aliveness for which I will be forever thankful. And because he felt it too, whenever I go back to do my nails we exchange not only smiles, but we share the sincerest hug.
So, I would like to ask you to do something…
Take this moment, yes this exact moment to be aware… Be aware of your surroundings.
Where are you? Who is standing in front of you or sitting next to you, are you alone?
Be aware… feel your heart, feel your breath… this is You… Alive…
You are gifted with a pair of beautiful eyes, now Use them to witness the beauty of your surroundings.
You were given a pair of ears, Use them to listen to the beautiful sound of silence…And lastly, you have been given the gift of feeling. So feel… Feel alive…
You’re a beautiful human being. Thank you for this moment.
As said by Marcel Proust:
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands… But in seeing with New Eyes.”
Are you willing to see?
Author: Roshni Jagroep