Gap Year Interaction

Though most of my gap year has been around people I’ve known for a long time, considering I live in my hometown, I am taking note of certain interactions with people around me that encourage me to take a step back and reflect on my life.

For example, I was cashiering at my job a few weeks ago and this mother and daughter walked up to the register and put the clothes they wanted on the counter. I started this transaction off like I would any other, and asked for their phone number for our rewards program.

The mother recited her phone number, but it was more than 9 digits long. I asked her to repeat it for me, incase I typed something in wrong. She proceeded to inform me that she and her daughter are from Mexico and they’re visiting the U.S., which is why her phone number had a different format.

I asked if they were visiting family or if they were here on vacation. The daughter’s face lit up and excitedly said, “We came here so I can get vaccinated!”. Immediately, I saw the strength in this family. Being bilingual, saving up for this trip, and going out of the way to stop at the mall and buy new clothes were not easy tasks. I felt so happy for the little girl and wished them an amazing remainder of their stay in the U.S.

I thought back to when I got vaccinated in April. My mom signed me up for an appointment the day that vaccines were open to the public. I felt so thankful that I was able to get more protection from Covid so easily. While other people, like this girl, are still in the process of keeping themselves safe without a vaccine. I’ve had a newfound sense of gratitude since this interaction. Now, more than ever, I am being kinder and more forgiving to each person I come in contact with, as I never know what journey they’re on.

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