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Always Trust The Shy One  

| WI, USA | Pets & Animals

(I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder when I was 19, and have always found that animals help me cope. I had recently adopted an older, special needs cat from the shelter before I moved away to school, and she lived very happily with us for a few months before passing away from cancer. I was extremely torn up about it, but the vet had told me there was nothing we could do. I go to the local animal shelter planning to adopt again, and it just happens to be during their “Home for the Holidays” special, so adoption is free, which makes it easier on a broke college student like me. I spend a fair amount of time walking around the shelter, visiting with some of the cats and talking with the shelter workers. My roommate has come with me and keeps pushing me to adopt the kitten she wants, but I am waiting to feel that special connection with the right animal. Thinking I should come back next week and check again, I am about to leave when out of the corner of my eye I see what I’d thought was an empty cage, with a little grey cat hiding in his litter box in the corner. The following conversation occurs:)

Me: *to a shelter worker* “Excuse me? Can I see him?”

Shelter Worker: *looks uncomfortable* “Uh, well, he’s our shyest cat so he probably won’t do anything but hide.”

Me: “That’s okay. Can I see him?”

(She goes and gets the cat out, and he curls up as tight as he can, stuffing his face into her arm and shaking. She hands him to me and I go sit down with him, talking quietly and petting him. His fur is grimy and he is sick with a cold and has crust dried all over his face and is very thin. After a minute of sitting with me, he starts to uncurl and suddenly starts purring very loudly. He pokes his head up out of my arm and starts looking around the shelter curiously, while the shelter worker looks at me like I’ve performed some kind of witchcraft.)

Me: *smiling* “I’d like an application, please.”

(Just a few days later, little Giovanni came home with me! He was very shy and timid at first, but quickly became healthier and began to warm up to people. Since then I’ve had the joy of watching him come out of his shell. Now he’s a curious, sweet little guy. He sleeps by me on my bed every night and waits for me to get up in the morning to play, and is truly a little ray of sunshine in my life. He saved me just as much as I saved him!)

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Very Full And Thankful

| Tullahoma, TN, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome, Holidays

(Today is Thanksgiving. Both my cashier and I have been worried that all our customers are going to be cranky and yell at us for all the little things that stresses out customers doing last minute shopping and that they are bound to complain about — long lines, being out of stock on some items, that sort of thing. I come back from my lunch break to see my cashier with a long line, and a shocked look on his face.)

Me: “What’s up?”

Cashier: “A customer just… she just…” *still looking surprised*

Customer: “Oh, the customer who just left just surprised him, is all. She was saying ‘Thank you so much for being open today! I really appreciate it!'”

Me: “Oh, that is nice to hear.”

Cashier: “Yeah, but then, she finished paying for her groceries, and pulled out this box of chocolates and a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups she had just bought, and said ‘This is for you guys, to thank you for working today!'”

(Yes, a customer was so thankful we were open, they bought us chocolates!)

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Never Truly Game Over

| Canada | Awesome, Health & Body, Money

This is something I like taking pride in as a gamer. I’m a member of a small community online dedicated to gaming and listing collections. The community is tight knit and almost like a family. Unfortunately, one of the longtime members had passed away from cancer and the community has been pretty devastated by the loss.

One of the deceased member’s last tweets on her Twitter account was a request that someone does a cancer charity marathon in her memory if she passes away soon. It took a bit of planning, but the site owner, his girlfriend, and his best friend scheduled a weekend-long gaming marathon while the rest of us pooled in our money for the cause.

The marathon was an absolute blast and everyone agreed it was a perfect celebration of life for her. In the end, we managed to raise over $3000 from our small community to help patients and victims of cancer.

It may seem small, but we all hoped it would help make a difference.

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Hope For Humanity Restored For Another Year

, | Germany | Awesome, Holidays

(It’s January 1st and I’m working in a bakery that’s also a self service café. It’s packed because we’re the only place in the area that’s open. I’m bouncing back and forth between doing dishes and serving customers and am particularly stressed out, as celebrating the new year obviously made everyone forget manners completely. Until this customer came.)

Customer: *ignoring the line behind him, smiles at me* “First of all I want to wish you a happy new year and thank you for working today and being here for me!”

(I almost started crying and beamed for the rest of the day. Faith in humanity restored.)

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When You’re In A Tough Spot, You Find One

| Cupertino, CA, USA | Awesome

When I was in my twenties I decided to go back to school. After making a mess of my life and dropping out of high school then bouncing around jobs, I decided to see how it would go if I took some more automotive classes.I suspected it might be something I could turn into a career, though of course the idea of being a student again was intimidating and a little terrifying, and I also had some concerns about fitting in as a woman in a male-dominated industry. On the first night of class I got to campus over a half hour early to make sure I could find parking and, of course, it didn’t help. I circled and circled, getting increasingly stressed and desperate.

Class started at six pm and it was 5:56 pm and I still didn’t have a spot. I was literally crying in my car telling myself that this was a sign from the universe that going back to school was the wrong choice. I decided if I didn’t find parking in the next two minutes I would leave, drive home, drop my classes, and just fake my way through whatever else happened and wherever life took me and that would be the end of going back to school.

Just as I made this mental deal with myself, a car pulled out of a spot directly in front of me. I parked, wiped my face, gathered my supplies, and went inside to class. My butt was in the seat about ten seconds before six pm.

I’ll never know who it was, but I often think of the guy who pulled out of the parking spot right in front of me and wish I could tell him: thank you. THANK YOU. That class went well, and so did the next ones, and the ones after, and the job I got next, and the one after, and this year I was hired and started to teach part-time in the very same program I attended.

If that guy hadn’t left his parking spot when he did, this would not have happened. There’s no way for him to ever find out, but he gave me a life I never would’ve imagined when I was crying in my car that night.