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Tag Archives: secret acts of awesome

8 // Being Waved at Randomly

On my way in to work this morning, I was feeling good. Despite my being a little sleepy, the second I walked outside to go to my car, I was instantly revived. Good weather will do that to you.

I had my banana. I had my juice in a Dunkin Donuts coffee-to-go cup. As far as I was concerned, the morning was not off to a dismal start.

I was running a little late, which really doesn’t surprise me, but I had a feeling I’d make it on time. News flash Mom! I did.

So on my way, I drove along at my leisure. I ate my banana. I drank my juice. Then I came to a stoplight. One of many along my route. I’m always stopping and starting for something. So there I sat, sipping juice. Waiting for that light to turn green.

A car next to me pulled up to the light too. There we sat. Other vehicles started filing in behind us. Then something odd happened. The car next to me honked twice. I looked over, purely because I was interested. There was no one else in front of him so I wasn’t entirely sure what he was honking about. So my eyes met the driver’s.

He looked young. There was someone with him in the passenger seat. He smiled at me slightly, and waved.

I wasn’t really sure why he was waving, but I waved back. The rest of my way to work, he and I drove in the same vicinity as each other. Sometimes I would pass him, sometimes he would pass me. After a while, I lost his car completely. But I hadn’t stopped thinking about his wave.

Why’d he do it? He didn’t seem to wave at strangers at any other stoplight. I checked. And I definitely didn’t know him. He wasn’t some guy I was familiar with.

So it was a strange occurrence. A little bit of stranger kindness in an otherwise perfectly fine morning.

And it made me happy. Just a little. It also made me slightly nervous, but that’s just the worrier in me. I think waving gets underrated sometimes. It’s the acknowledgement of another person. You don’t encounter much interaction or acknowledgement when you’re in a whirlwind of traffic.

Everyone’s so busy trying to get where they’re going. It was nice that he stopped for a moment. Just to pause and wave. Maybe his destination wasn’t nearly as important to him as everyone else on the road. I still wonder, though, where he was going.

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4 // The World Needs More Love Letters

I’m starting to get involved in a project. More specifically, something like a movement. I stumbled upon this “The World Needs More Love Letters” campaign a few days ago, purely by accident. I was on a blog I regularly visit, and they had done an interview with the founder of this movement, Hannah Brencher. She’s taken it upon herself to spearhead a huge group of people (it has gone global) that send anonymous ‘love letters’ to people who need them. The letters typically center around encouraging words, positive thoughts and general good-vibe feelings. I was so impressed with her backstory and how she got it started (PS, she’s only 23! Like me!) and it made me want to start doing something to help.

Any kind of organization/non-profit/movement that inspires complete strangers to write to each other for a common good is something I can get behind. So I signed my email address up on her site and I’ve recently received my first instructions for letter writing. What’s cool is that there’s always a monthly “bundle” of letters that go to one specific person. People can request letters for friends, family or co-workers if they think that one person in their lives could use some cheering up or some positivity. I haven’t begun writing my big letter yet because I know it’s going to be a tall order to start out on. I’m writing to someone with cancer, and those words shouldn’t be taken lightly.

On a slightly less serious note, Hannah and her fabulous team encourage people to leave anonymous letters around their hometowns, or along their commutes, or anywhere that a little letter could be found. Last night, my friend and I were at Target and I was looking for some cute stationary to begin my foray into letter writing. I wanted something cute, but generic enough that it could appeal to any subject matter I’d be tackling. My friend was so inspired by my want to get involved, that she decided to jump in too. So last night, we bought a bunch of adorable cards and envelopes. I got mini ones for my ‘anonymous around town’ letters, and some larger ones for the big letters I’ll be sending.

We wrote out our words thoughtfully, and got very excited about the notion of leaving them for people. We took to the streets of our hometown around 10 p.m. last night and hid notes cleverly at local shops that were still open. I put one envelope in between two Hershey bars at one of our local gas stations, in hopes that some home-sick college freshman from the local university would happen upon it. Today, I wrote 3 more letters. I’m going to visit my grandma today, and I plan on leaving some along my way to her house.

This feels good to have something positive to focus on. Knowing I might make a difference, even a small one, in someone’s day. It’s possible that my letters won’t all be found. Some people might throw them away or think it’s weird. But I like the hope in it. And I would be thrilled if I found one. So I’m going to keep writing. Because everyone could use a love letter, every once in a while.