These past couple of days have taught me a lot. Firstly, that spending a week in a new country means different electrical outlets. Secondly, that if you wear a bandana around your neck as a fashion statement, your brother will call you an air hostess for eight hours. Or that Europe actually smells kind of weird.
But of all the insane shenanigans and hilarious stories I can share, I’m going to tell you the most weird one.
Today my sister and I decided to press pause on all the traveling and learning to finish up some homework assignments at a nearby hotel. In that time, due to my irrational fear and contempt for public restrooms, I held it for three hours or so. I couldn’t handle it; I decided to take a leap of faith, I left my belongings behind on the cafe table and dragged myself to the restroom. There, I sauntered in to an (what I thought to be) empty bathroom. I heard what sounded like heavy breathing, and dismissed it as the sound of the water system. As I twisted the knob to the nearest stall, the breathing sound stopped.
My eyes met those of a middle aged, bearded man on the toilet.
He stared at me for a second, and I leaped back in surprise.
“Oh my god, I’m so so so sorry!" I exclaimed.
He stared with an indifferent expression on his face.
A force slapped me into consciousness and I slammed the door shut, running upstairs to relieve myself (pun not intended) of the horror (everything was covered pls).
I had a couple of questions for homeboy.
What were you doing in the girls restroom?
Why didn’t you lock the door?
Why did you just not react when a scrawny indian girl walked in on you taking a dump?
Can you whip and nae nae?
As I explained what had just occured to my sister, I noticed the man calmly walk to the door. I froze, waiting for a threat or apology. He didn’t glance around one bit; he just went about his business.
A few hours later, I reflect on this instance between mouthfuls of french fries. I consider all the possibilities: him jumping off the toilet and attacking me, him giving me a “swirle” *gag*, or him just politely apologizing and wishing me “good day.”
I think about the repercussions of each scenario and how I may respond to them, when I have an epiphany.
We control our days.
Lets say this man was seriously embarrassed and apologized: he would spend the rest of his day thinking about it. If he laughed about it, he would be in better spirits during the day. If he pretended it didn’t happen, it wouldn’t affect his day at all.
Life is 20% what happens to us, and 80% how we react to it.
So the next time something life altering happens to you: your haram girlfriend cheats on you (now she a double harami!!!!), you don’t get into the college of your choice, you Grandmother forgets to put you in her will, you fail an exam…ask yourself two questions: how do I want to react to this? and what will this reaction do for me?
Now, one may think that I am oversimplifying this, but life truly depends on your perspective. When bad things happen, there is a time to mourn. There is a time to mope, and there is a time to eat 4.5 tubs of mint chocolate chip ice cream in an empty bathtub and scream “WHY MEEEEEE?!??!” every seven minutes or so. But after that, you control how much it affects your life. You control what it does to you. You have the choice to decide if you want to be upset about it or not, and you decide if it alters your destiny.