You can listen to me read this as an audio-blog. (2 minutes)
Back in March, after a particularly bad day, I found myself deep in thought, slightly teary and giving myself an internal pep talk, whilst staring at the many characters riding the Metro in NYC that day.
I glanced to my right to see a lady sketching. She was totally in the moment; and for a second, I was jealous that she was finding a moment of absolute concentration and solitude whilst on a packed train. She was also doing the very thing I’ve been telling myself to get back into; drawing.
She glanced up at me every so often; her energy was authentic, warm and kind. I smiled back and as my stop approached, I slowly gathered my iPhone and wrapped my headphones around my fingers to tidy the cord. The lady leaned over and said “Your hat is awesome. You caught my eye as you got on the train, I hope you don’t mind but I’ve been sitting here sketching you.” and with that, she handed me a piece of paper with her Instagram username on it.
What the lady didn’t realise was, I had been sat there mentally beating myself up and feeling pretty down on myself; I have the most amazing negative self-talker inhabiting my brain sometimes, and it takes me a little bit to pull myself out of it. Her gesture of handing me this tiny piece of paper and saying “I wanted to sketch you.” was just the confidence booster I needed to get through that day. The title she gave it, unknowingly, is also pretty serendipitous; “Weather the Storm”.
I’ve just got home from another stint of working in NYC (and Boston) – sat at my desk with my first English cup of tea, in weeks (I swear, our water makes it taste different), and found the piece of paper the lady handed me. I hadn’t forgotten about the incident, but it reminded me to write about it, as it was one of those precious moments in life when the smallest gestures restore your faith in humanity again.