Last year, one of my acquaintances did not send his annual birthday text greeting and I learned that he had passed away a few days before my birthday (actually on the same day that my dad passed). To say the least, I was pretty emotionally bummed out and started to spiral just thinking about both losses because that more recent loss reminded me of the devastation of losing my dad when he was only 56 years young.
Carl and I met about 7 years ago when the car dealership couldn’t locate the car that I went there to test drive. He felt bad that I had gone all that way on public transportation and their team couldn’t locate the car on the lot. So, for the inconvenience I was sent home for the week with a cute little two-seater instead.
Of course I loved the car, the way it smelled, the way it handled, the quiet power, how cute I thought I looked in it (lol)…but my VERY practical best friend asked “Why are you riding around in that car if you are not going to buy it?” Duh? I didn’t even have a response. She continued by expressing that I should stop playing games and return the car right away, which equated to yes, now, before the week was up!
Even though what she said was very true, of course I didn’t want to hear any of it at that moment. I was truly liking everything about that car and she was raining on my parade. When I returned the car early, Carl and I had dinner prior to him dropping me off at the metro. We talked, laughed and got better acquainted with one another.
On the ride home, I jotted down several lessons that I learned:
Remember to be honest with myself: What I heard my best friend saying was for me to listen, focus and be authentic. The truth was regardless of what car I wanted to drive, I had a certain amount to spend on transportation. The adorably cute car that was presented to me was not in my price range in terms of the monthly note, maintenance or potential repairs. If I got caught up, I would definitely look good externally, but internally I would be off track financially and emotionally because of the undue stress of living beyond my means.
Remember that having it all doesn’t mean having it all right now: It’s okay to dream big and it’s advisable to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) goals. If I wanted that car, what was my plan to afford it?
Remember to always be grateful: I am grateful to have met Carl and I’m so appreciative of the super nice things he did. I am also eternally grateful to have a best friend who reminds me to keep the main thing the main thing.
With the now much-used technology since COVID, I was able to virtually stream Carl’s service which was elegant and beautiful. He was an amazing person and everyone spoke of his kindness. I am glad that we met, honored that he remembered my birthday every year and I choose to remember fun and fond memories of him and my Dad.
What lessons have you learned from someone who made a lasting impression on you? What did you learn about yourself in the process? What will you do differently going forward?
Smiles across the miles.