It was one of those fall nights; the sun heading to bed earlier and earlier – a soft reminder of the long, Chicago winter ahead. Each gust of wind creating an eerie feeling, making some of the last fallen leaves dance in a tornado like fashion around my feet as I duck my nose and mouth into my heavy scarf for warmth- comfort maybe. Suburban quiet.

Standing at the quiet Central train stop waiting for the Purple line to take me back to the city, I pull my phone out of my pocket to check the time, thinking how city life has made me quite impatient. I am jolted out of my own thoughts as I see you turn the corner from the parking lot and walk towards me, rubbing your hands together and digging them deep into your coat pockets for warmth. I can tell immediately that you are not from here- lost.

“Where board train to Evanston? Buy tickets?”, you ask me with a thick accent, confirming my thoughts.

“Up the stairs on the left. Get off at Davis,” I say and point, avoiding eye contact and any further conversation. The introverted, guarded, 26-year old woman standing alone, coming to the forefront as you nod and walk past me, following my useless, cold directions. Back to my phone.

It was about two minutes later that I turn around, becoming ever more aware of this late train and the fact that I am still the only one standing on this platform, when I see you pacing the station lobby looking at a map, seemingly desperate for any direction whatsoever.

“Where ya headed?” I yell, surprising myself as I slowly take my headphones out one by one, my voice echoing throughout the empty train station. You look up and audibly sigh- relieved.

“Evanston City. Church- Davis… I think?”

I laugh to myself as I am immediately taken back by the kindness in his big, dark eyes, shaking my head as to how I was scared of this innocent man just a few minutes prior.

“Here,” I say as I take his phone and open Google Maps, showing him the best route to his destination. I turn my body away to face the tracks. Back to my phone.

“Wabi. Like Wasabi, but without the ‘s,” He says as I see him out of the corner of my eye, holding his hand out with a wide, bright smile.

Ten minutes later, sitting across the aisle from me in the overly lit train car, I learn Wabi is South African and in school to become a doctor. His light, navy blue windbreaker doing little in shielding the Chicago cold, but justifiable after learning that he is in town from California, apartment hunting for when he makes his cross-country move in just a couple months. Not knowing a soul—a chance, fearless move I have always admired in people.

As the train makes its gradual stop at Davis Street, he slowly stands from his seat and reaches his hand out again.

“Thank you… thank you so much.”

His kind, genuine eyes saying more than any “thank you” could. Eyes I never would have seen if I didn’t look up from the bright, illuminated screen on my phone. Eyes I never would have seen if I didn’t turn around and decide to take a chance and help.

I watch him walk out, unnecessarily ducking his head as he passes through the beeping train doors. I lean my head back against the cold train wall and smile to myself, sliding my phone into the side pocket of my purse. How simple…one look, one step, one interaction to completely burst the small, thick bubble that so many of us blindly live under every single day.

Total vulnerability. Taking that chance and stepping out of the large comfort zone so many of us build around ourselves isn’t the scariest thing in the world–it only, for a moment, feels that way. Because to take that leap into the unknown, to stand on your own two feet, lend a helping hand and follow your heart, is to be the truest and best version of yourself–and the reward is in that alone.



— Share —

— About the Author —


Leave a Reply

— Follow Us —

Up Next

Forgiveness After The Storm

Forgiveness After The Storm

The muse of poetry in its depths stalls the ensue of thee,Drowning in the sparse spectacle of hope left, one dives into the waters of misery.Triabilsing in the painful stance of existence, death in its allure creeps behind,To be or not be in the bane of tormenting breaths, in their truth one seems to find,

The hostility that binds, convulsion in its gloating flair laughs hysterically at the corpse of being,Dreariness to live in its slow burn writhes the only ounce of light left to see.The void of embracing the freshness of unadulterated air forges to question the beauty,Of living a life that could lead in the lightness of radiance and the smiles of unbridled glee.

The trueness of being lapses in the oscillation of turbulence and the sea of calm,Yet the tides of uncertain syllables that breed animosity render the sou

Up Next

Beyond Materialism: The Psychological Motivations Behind Retail Therapy

Beyond Materialism

Most people can understand the happiness that comes from purchasing something for oneself when we talk about needing some retail therapy. Can shopping truly improve our mood? Clinical psychologist Scott Bea, PsyD, affirms that shopping can have psychological and therapeutic benefits as long as it is done in moderation, according to research. Engaging in shopping activities, whether online or in person, can provide a psychological and emotional boost. Even just browsing can bring happiness, but it’s important to be mindful of your spending habits. Dr. Bea outlines various explanations for the phenomenon.

Shopping helps to regain a feeling of power or authority

Research demonstrates that engaging in shopping activities can help individuals feel more in control of their

Up Next

Mind Over Met Gala: Analyzing the Intersection of Fashion and Mental Health in 2024

Mind Over Met Gala

The most confidential information about the 2024 Met Gala, which will take place on the first Monday in May, is now known. A total of 250 objects, many of which have never been seen in public before, will be on display in the Costume Institute’s “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2024. Before the much-awaited event, Vogue is compiling all of the information we currently know.

What theme will the 2024 Met Gala have?

The official dress code for the 2024 Met Gala is “The Garden of Time,” in honour of the Costume Institute’s upcoming exhibition, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” About 250 rare objects from the Costume Institute’s permanent collection will be on display. The designs, which span more than 400 years of f

Up Next

The Aesthetic Epidemic: Understanding the Roots of Lookism

The Aesthetic Epidemic

We care about more than just ourselves – we care about our loved ones, our communities, and the world around us. We are affected by tragic events, especially when a child is murdered, regardless of where it happens. It deeply impacts us and makes us feel disheartened. Moral evils raise doubts about the goodness of the world and the value of existence, especially for those who believe in a benevolent deity. However, anyone can contemplate the purpose and value of the universe in light of such evils. We may not need to worry about the value of the Universe and instead focus on finding value in our own lives or the lives of our loved ones. The concept of value is subjective and can be created by us.

The important question is what we should value or find pleasure in. Some people may try to ignore moral evil by focusing only on their own lives and loved ones, but this narrow perspective is unsatisfying for most. I

Up Next

An Open Letter To The Hustlers

An Open Letter To The Hustlers

To be or not to be, to go all in or to unwind and relax, we question our dreams, running in constant chase of our quests to come true, we are the ones who never sleep. Dreamers we are called, the ones who passionately strive in the endeavours of the best they could ever be, here is a letter to me, a letter to you. In the stride of embracing the best you have ever been, nurture your soul before the onset of the abundance in you that lies unseen.

Too bold, too much for your age, you are doing too much, how often have you heard these notions been used to describe you? As we tirelessly strive to achieve the next goal we have in our mind, we are often told that we are being hard on ourselves, to enjoy life a little. Life in its entirety passes by us in its dynamic flair, and the existence we envisage holds unique individuality to each one of us. The choices one makes for themselves belies them and them only, and t

Up Next

How To Remain Centered And Calm In Face Of Difficulty

My life is a mess and I have nothing to be grateful about! I witness myself say this phrase from time to time, where life plonks us into the desperation of ebb and flow of wilderness and things not going in our favour.

It is easy to say we are grateful and in complete balance when things are going well and life feels like the warm embrace of the sun shining on a Sunday morning. But the real test lies in remaining grateful and centred when life feels like spinning out of control.

While it is easier said than done, here are some reminders that might help you get through the days that feel like a burden –

1) This too shall pass, no moment in time that feels permanent loses its impermanence. We often lose hope when things don’t go our way and during these sad days, we should remember, that t

Up Next

15 Most Liberating Thoughts For Someone Who Needs It

Our life unfolds in a succession of revelations of who we are. It is when we sit down and repeat the same sentence in our head over and over again, in every action we perform, every activity we indulge ourselves in, does it indulges into our existence as a habit.

The key to having a sense of liberation is allowing life to flow through, not forcing anything and more essentially not resisting change. I believe that our life improves in the direct proportionality of how often we are exposed to situations where are forced to challenge our age-old beliefs and counterfeited perceptions and seek the greater version of ourselves. When we get too comfortable in the comfort zones we build for ourselves, we do not grow into the people we are meant to be. Sadly most people embrace change only when metamorphosis is the less painful and only possible option.

I know that