Lesson Nine

December 27, 2022- Seemingly everywhere, and handling five tasks at once-one for each finger of her hand-so to speak, the head barista caught me signaling out of the corner of her eye, saw the half- sandwich on my plate and went in the back for a take-out box. She then swept back into the ellipse, and put the box down in front of me, while directing her attention to the couple next to me, who were initially enjoying expensive drinks, but had decided they wanted what I had to eat. ‘E’ had been at work since 11 a.m. and it was now 6:30. Her boss, the restaurant manager, and her assistant barista, a slightly younger woman, were doing the best they could to keep up-but ‘E’ is a force of nature. Petite, brainy, proactive, highly energetic and absolutely gorgeous, she can name her ticket-and I would venture that by time she is 25, she will be her own boss.

”E’ is, inadvertently, one of my life teachers. The lesson she has imparted, seared into my consciousness, is to reiterate that a strong woman, a strong human, needs no initial help from anyone, in reaching for the stars. The ladder is something she will devise herself, as is the team she is building and will continue to build. I have seen, and known, several people like her, over the years. Some have imploded, due to a latent inflexibility in the face of misfortune. Others have gone on and hit the heights. Time will tell into which category ‘E’ falls-but she is both gregarious and stone-faced practical, by turns. I sense she will face whatever comes along, with aplomb.

This is the ninth life lesson, along with several sub-lessons, that living on Earth has brought. The others:

  1. I am part of a family and cannot exist just for myself.
  2. Deciding to just up and walk away from home has its consequences.
  3. It is one thing to have an unusual personality and quite another to use it as an excuse.
  4. Self-loathing is a false modus vivendi. God created no junk.
  5. All the crap I absorbed in my community about People of Colour, and about women, is just that-BS.
  6. No matter how bad a situation is, walking through it will lead to greater strength and a place of peace.
  7. Every person on Earth has a place of truth in the heart. If someone hides their truth, it is on them.
  8. There is but one race: The human race.
  9. Every person on the planet, regardless of age, is capable of wondrous things-even singly and alone.

So often, just watching how people handle their lives is an object lesson in how I might deal with challenges in mine. I am grateful for all the people who have imparted life lessons.

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