The challenge of Day 13, by Ashley Ambirge: [Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself.  How will you surprise yourself this week?]

I can’t think of a situation I didn’t think I was capable of doing something and then surprised myself. To some of my friends I can suddenly do unexpected stuff, like stop to talk to the alcoholic bum on the street or telling a neighbour that he has to stop invite the children, without the parents consent, to his home unless he wants to have a visit from the police or telling the bus driver she is amazing the way she speaks to the passengers or telling another bus driver that she has a very bad attitude or start a huge computer game production company or a performing dance group or walking alone into South Bronx with a camera in my hands back in the 80’s having no clue that it’s supposed to be dangerous.

It’s not out of my character; it’s more that some of my friends wouldn’t necessarily do that. But my friends are not surprised anymore I suddenly do unexpected things. And that’s fine. Sure, I have had many times in my life that I didn’t think I could make it and then – voila! – I did it. But to be surprised by that? No, it was more of a relief or a ‘yay’ moment; I made it!

So what do I do that is surprising to meNo clue, so I had to ask my boyfriend and he told me something that, well, yes…surprised me!

Me:     It seems I never surprise myself?

Toby:  But you just were. Surprised I mean.

Me:     What do you mean?

Toby:  You just read a comment on one of your #Trust30 posts and you said: I am so touched by all the comments I get. I can’t imagine that I can reach out to people in that way. That I have something to say that people find important”. It seems impossible for you to grasp that you touch hearts, that what you say has some significance and that people can relate to that.

Me:     Yeah, but…I just talk or tell stories. I don’t know…

Toby:  Exactly. You don’t know. You get surprised every single time. You move people. And you have always done that.

Me:      But it’s just me being myself. I just talk.

Toby:   See. You don’t get it even if we talk about it specifically. I see this daily. You are not aware of that trait in you. You have a knack for leaving people in a better shape than they arrived and that is a blind spot to you. You get surprised every time I say it to you.

I listened to my boyfriend and reflected upon what he said. In these cases I do surprise myself. Every time. It’s not false modesty. I don’t think I am capable of touching people deeply through my storytelling or talking. I listen to people and I talk to people and I tell stories to people and now I write. Maybe it seems like a small thing, since surprise is about the unexpectedness, strangeness and unusualness. But it is a biggie to me. I realise that now.

So I sat there in front of my boyfriend and was exactly that – surprised – totally, unexpectedly, strangely and unusually surprised. Just as he said I always am.

It seems obvious to say that I will continue to surprise myself, this week and the next and so on. As long as I interact with people and do what I do, I will be gratefully surprised when I get to hear that I have shared something that touched hearts.

And while I have you here…thank you all for posting your comments and bringing awareness to myself. Quelle surprise!

”A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise. Because that is how life is – full of surprises.”  – Isaac Bashevis Singer 


Comments on: "surprise" (14)

  1. Flo McAfee said:

    This is so insightful and powerful—unknowingly touching the lives of others through your expressions of being you. What a wonderful and fulfilling surprise to have. Great post!

    • Hi Flo, thank you. As I continue to participate in this project I become more and more amazed by the extraordinary stories that are shared by everyone.
      It’s very inspiring. To write has been a dormant dream (pun intended!) of mine. I guess it’s awakening.
      xoxo, M

  2. Michi…Yay for your boyfriend! You most definitely touch and inspire!!! I am so glad we found your blog through RWE!!
    Peace, Nico

    • Thanks, Nico! Yes, he’s a gem actually. If it weren’t for RWE project I would probably still just “think” about starting a blog, trying to figure all out before I would set it up. So to just dive into the unknown, instead of carefully dipping one toe into it, has been very liberating for me. I’m not a butterfly yet, but soon… xoxo, Michi

  3. Love the picture!
    And love the convo you had with your boyfriend. He knows what he’s talking about!
    It’s been a joy meeting you online and I’ve been touched by you and your writing – thanks!

    Cheers to #Trust30 for connecting us!

    • Cheers, Janet! Yes, I’m so grateful for the connections here at #Trust30. I have had an ambivalent attitude towards FB, but in this group people actually communicate,instead of occupy themselves with shout-outs.

      I return the joy, It’s mutual.
      xoxo, Michi

  4. What a marvelous blind spot! Great guy to show you where it sits.

    Please stay surprised and keep on writing.

    • Warvis, thank you! I’m very touched by your encouragement and return it to you.
      Spread the love as they say. I look forward to each day, to read what all of us has written.
      It has been a long time since I had that feeling.

      xoxo, Michi

  5. And this is exactly why we need others – to reflect us back to ourselves. And your boyfriend does this so lovingly for you. What a wonderFULLy honest and true post. I have so enjoyed reading your words. Thank you for sharing!

    • Maya, thanks so much. I feel so blessed to be able to share with you. I feel humble over the effect this project has had on me. A few weeks ago I had absolutely NO IDEA that I would finally take the leap of faith and write. It has been a defining moment for me I think. So thank you Maya, and the rest of you that comment, for being part of that.

      xoxo, Michi

  6. AnnaMuse said:

    Great post Michi. It brought a smile to my face. You wrote so vividly of your conversation with Toby, that I could feel your surprise!

    You sound as though you are blesses with a great and insightful guy. How wonderful of him to notice your blind spot and help connect the dots for you.

    • AnnaMuse, I smile when I read your comment. Yes, it was surprising and an important ‘aha’ moment.
      As Barbra Streisand sings: ‘people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world (..)’
      xoxo, Michi

  7. magdis said:

    Michi I agree with every word you wrote, and every word T said…..I wouldn’t be surprised at all if I saw you perform a solodance in one of our town squares, or if I saw you sitting beside a streetbum sharing a cup of coffee – how could you NOT touch people? How could you NOT be surprised when someone tells you that you touch peoples hearts? Love Magdis

    • Magdis, actually I did a solo dance on a town square after I had seen the movie ‘Hair’ in the 80’s. Singing and dancing to the Aquarius! LOL
      I seems that I had a tiny itsy bitsy more guts back then. Anyway, thanks dear friend.
      xoxo, Michi

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