Sometimes I forget that I have this thing and when I do remember, I get the urge to delete it. But during the weeks after my last couple of posts, people have been telling me that they actually enjoy reading it. Shit, even my mom came across it and indulged. I really didn’t think people would still read my stuff AND like it but I really just want to thank you for taking the time to give it a chance. And understand, writing and choosing what to put in the public’s eye isn’t easy – even for a regular guy like myself.
Have you ever wondered if feeling guilty is either a good or bad thing? Like…in a sense, it can be a good thing because it can be used as a catalyst to improve yourself. On the other hand, it can be a bad thing because…well, you did something fucked up & you were wrong for doing something wrong in the first place.
I try to live my life as a person that does no wrong to anyone or anything in any situation. As humans, we know that’s impossible…but it’s all a learning process. From time to time, I like to self-evaluate myself and think of things that made me proud of myself and things that made me disappointed in myself. Usually, the good things almost always outweighs the bad. But today at work I thought of something that’s been bothering me for a while…and the guilt has been leeching throughout my entire workday.
I was on my lunch break. I almost always go to this Cuban spot called Sophie’s for lunch. The way I go about my lunch break is usually always the same – leave the office, headphones in, disconnect from the world, get my lunch, back into the office and eat while watching a show. For some reason I forgot my headphones today and I had to face the world during my afternoon stroll. The first thing I noticed walking out of my office building was a little girl crying/bawling to her father because he wouldn’t buy her Starburst at this newspaper stand nearby. He was trying to explain to her that he only has a credit card on him and he’s unable to buy her the Starburst because they only accept cash as a form of payment. My heart immediately became heavy. Now, before you call me Drake and/or a sap, let me explain why.
A couple of months ago, I had to withdraw cash from my bank for a bill I had to pay or something. Being that I work a 9-5, Monday thru Friday in New York, the only way I can take money out is by using my bank’s ATM (since the actual branch is closed by 5:30). My usual routine is come off of the train, go straight to the gym (which is right off of my train stop) and go home after lifting. That day, my routine was – come off of the train, withdraw money, go to the gym, and go home. Easy enough, what can possibly go wrong? I get off of the train, down my pre-workout, and head over to the bank which is a block away from my gym. The minute I enter the space where the ATMs are located, I see a fifty-dollar bill lying on the ground. Of all the days for God to test me, he chooses today…
I kinda stood there and stared at it. I didn’t need it. I work a full time job in the field that I studied for. There’s no real reason for me to pick this up. But who leaves a fifty-dollar bill lying on the ground like that? I felt like I was being Punk’d.
I went to the ATM and withdrew my money. As I’m leaving I just kept thinking, if I don’t pick this up, then who will? Should I just walk away with it? Sidebar, I am not a greedy person when it comes to money – and if you know me, you’d know I’m actually quite generous when it comes to money. Money will always be whatever to me. Secondly, I live in a home where we can leave our cash lying around anywhere and the people in my home are respectable enough to leave it alone; our trust is that deep. And so I wish I considered these things when I picked up the fifty-dollars off of the floor.
My pre-workout immediately kicked in the moment I picked up the bill. My heart started racing, broke out into a slight sweat…I was hyper, ready to lift. As I’m walking out, a guy walks into the ATM area and starts looking at the floor. I immediately knew this was his fifty dollar bill. But I was too embarrassed to turn around and admit that I shamelessly picked his money up and basically stole it. Plus, I was already out the door – this would look stupid on my part.
I got to the gym and I couldn’t even make eye contact with the usuals. I got to the locker room and started to change out of my work clothes. I put on some deodorant but I still felt dirty. The pre-workout wasn’t helping either. I said fuck this, I’m running back to the bank…this man needs his money. All I kept thinking about was this guy and the face he had on when he was searching for his money. This could have been for rent…or his children. I couldn’t believe I was so corny. I got to the ATMs and he wasn’t anywhere to be found. I ran into the lobby area and told a banker that was walking out of the door that I found $50 in the ATM area, and asked if she can pull up the account that used the ATM before me because maybe it belonged to that person.
This guy getting his money back was all I wanted. I was mentally kicking myself the whole time I was interacting with the banker. She told me that the person whoever lost their money has to come to the teller and let them know they lost their money at the ATM and of course they’d have to tell the teller the right amount that they’ve lost in order to get their money back. I was disappointed, dawg. I was pissed at myself. I knew there was no chance that someone will come in after losing money in the ATM area and try to retrieve it from one of these tellers. I felt so fucked up…especially since I am way better than this. This was truly out of my character and I can’t believe I did something so low. I couldn’t even make it through my workout. I know I did the right thing by bringing the money back – but I should have done the right thing before it got this out of hand.
The next day was a Saturday. I had to withdraw a little more money for my bills so I got up a little early to head over to my bank. Banks, as we know, close early on the weekends so I made sure I got there at a good time. Ironically enough, the guy that lost his money was there at the same time…and he went to the teller to tell them about his misplaced fifty-dollar bill. I can’t tell you how relieved I was feeling. This shit was way too good to be true. I wanted to go smoke a cigarette witnessing this…and I don’t even smoke!
So…as I walked by the newspaper stand, I purchased my usual pack of gum. The father kind of looks at me with distress and embarrassment. His daughter had amazing lungs and her performance for Starburst was a little overbearing. I almost never have cash on me but today I did. I purchased the Starburst and gave it to him. I still felt guilty as fuck for what I did to that guy at the bank. And although he got his money back, that was just, honestly, amazing luck in its purest form. But watching this father go through it with his daughter kind of reminded me of that guy at the bank who probably had kids. Maybe I did a little too much by getting the Starburst but he thanked me for getting his daughter to shut up.
I still don’t know if feeling guilty is a good or bad thing…but it caused me to do something good. It’s all a learning process.