This adventure was forced upon me. It was the first day of our summer program at work and we wanted to begin with a BANG! We being my manager who is a nature-loving, tree-hugging, camping Aquarius. I really had no choice. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge was part of my job duties!
The day arrived and it was a sweltering and unbearable 93 degrees. I woke up 30 minutes before my work meeting and so I rushed out of my apartment, showered but forgetting to swab on deodorant. I realized this as soon as the sun hit my brown skin and my armpits began to sob. No time, I thought. Already running late. The start of a shitty day, I concluded.
At work, I sat in an air conditioned room, but still felt funky. I couldn’t wait for the mentor to stop chatting about the teen girls so I could run to Rite Aid and buy a travel sized Secret. Then, my manger dropped the bomb. We were leave to walk the Brooklyn Bridge in an hour.
Damn! Damn! Damn!
I rushed to Rite Aid – teen student in tow- purchased a Secret deodorant, and applied it en route to the train. It was humid out. I was sticky. I felt dirty! The last thing I wanted was to walk the Brooklyn Bridge! Alas, a 30-minute train ride later, there it was. It’s wooden floor teasing me with creeks and splinters. I stepped onto the bridge with hundreds of others. I huffed and puffed, trying to catch my breath, though the thick air made it almost impossible. I chugged my water as if it were a Bacardi and Coke.
And then it began to rain.
Drops landed on my arm, forehead, chest. I felt so…refreshed. I stopped mid-step, allowing the rain to cleanse the dirt, the negativity. I scanned my surroundings and noticed couples walking hand in hand, taking photos, and writing their names on the musical wooden floor. I felt the breeze lighten my mood as raindrops spread across my skin.
That day I realized that my feelings, whether pleasant or crabby, can shift. Our feelings influence our perception. At the end of it all, what we focus on is up to us. I chose to zone in on the tardiness, the funky armpits, the sweat and the heat, and later on, redirected my energy, embracing the rain, the cool air, the accomplishment of completing what I perceived to be a daunting task.
It is our choice to either drown in our experiences or thrive in our experiences.
On July 6, 2011, I chose to thrive.