"OMG I'm turning 30!" was the thought that came to my mind a few months ago when the reality set in that my 20's were just about over and I was entering a new decade, the decade of true adulthood as I put it. How was I to celebrate this important occasion? Although born on New Years Day, I was never a big birthday party person. In fact, I think partially because I'm born on New Years Day, and there are so many other parties to compete with, I usually settle for a small gathering the day after the big count down. This year, however, I decided that it was important for me to put more time and energy into celebrating my 30th birthday. After a lot of thought what became more and more clear was that I have so much to be grateful for; I have amazing friends, family, and a partner who have all supported me through 12 moves in the last 10 years (yes I seriously counted!), 5 nieces and nephews who I love to death, mentors who push me to grow, students who teach me the importance of resilience, family who always has my back, friends who tease me but love me, a partner who supports me in following my dreams and life experiences that although tough at times, I would not trade for anything in this world. With this reflection I decided the best way to celebrate my 30 years was to give back! I decided that I wanted to do this in two ways, first through 30 Random Acts of Kindness (the second I'll share soon). I shared this with my boyfriend Rex and the two of us went on a 5 day RAK road trip from San Jose, CA to Sedona, Arizona!
23: Leave a generous tip with an inspiring message to your waiter/waitress
24: Give a compliment to a stranger
25: Surprise a waitress/waiter with an engaging conversation about their dreams
26: Collect and return trays from a fast food restaurant that are left outside
27: Don't complain for a day
28. Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger
29: Surprise a nurse with a bouquet of flowers
30. Have empathy instead of judgement
What I learned:
Doing acts of kindness isn't hard at all and feels really good. Of course there were moments I was nervous, like letting a dad and his son cut me in the Subway line after waiting (40 minutes I honestly timed it, it was the longest Subway line ever) but after my initial shyness died down it was great to talk to him and learn that he was especially grateful because they waited in lines all weekend at Disneyland. Or at a restaurant, where it took me multiple attempts to get the guts to stop the waitress in her routine and ask her for her name and how she was doing. She was so surprised and with a big smile said "Wow! No one ever asks me that!" then continued to chat with us and shared that she is currently in school working towards her dream to go into the fashion industry! It felt so good to talk to her that I decided I will always ask servers for their name and how they are doing because they deserve it!
I also enjoyed the anonymous ones, paying for people's meters, leaving laundry detergent, putting roses on cars, etc. because I hope that without a face the receiver contributes the act of kindness as an act of the Universe/God because I know that any act of kindness I do, is the spirit working through me.
Although each act filled me with joy, the most important ones for me were the ones that required me to do something internally, smile more, not complain, and give empathy instead of judgement were all ones I could do at any moment and felt good to intentionally think about. I was reminded that there are always opportunities to be kinder, to others and myself. I plan to do this more everyday as a celebration of God/the Universe's love and divinity in me.
Thank you dear God/the Universe for another beautiful year of life.
In love and light,