The other day at work, I overheard a woman start to confront another woman about something. I walked by as she was getting started, that’s all. I quickly picked up on the tone of the conversation and sped my pace up a little bit more to get out of there and to my destination.
Later that day, I passed the woman who was on the receiving end of that talk. She was on the phone with somebody talking about the awkward confrontation from earlier in the day. Again, I sped by to get out of that situation and to where I needed to be.
No clue the context. No clue what the issue was. I only saw tiny bits. Enough to know what was happening without knowing any details. Just a bystander who caught a tiny glimpse into their lives.
It was surreal, because there was this entire situation that I knew existed and had no possible way of learning more. I did not know these women. I did not know their connection. I did not need to know any more. Two brief moments and time moved by.
But it stuck with me, serving as a nice refreshing reminder that there are so many storylines going on in this, the Information Age, that we are not aware or a part of. Sure, we can’t get onto Facebook without the news feed bringing us all accounts of stupid and unnecessary information about everyone in the world, but there is still some private moments, no matter how awkward, that exist.
And it reminded me that none of the world centers around me. An ego check, of course, but also a liberating reminder that the world does not live and die by my performance. If I mess something up a little bit or if finances are tight, whatever the issue, life will go on.
You matter, and don’t forget that. But don’t forget to take the time to remember that you can stand off to the side every now and then and take a break from the spotlight. You need that too.