Someone recently crossed a very personal boundary. Let me give you the context. Its rush hours. I’m late and I decided to take public transportation. (If you are running late-never take public transportation). Anyways… I noticed that most of the people were clustered at the front of the train car- basically standing and sitting on each other’s lap- and there were a few people at the back comfortably seated. A normal person who pays attention in life would have thought that something was weird. Nope, not I. I just got on the back of the bus and found a seat. I took one step onto the train/car and smelled the reason why people were smushed together at the front of the train/car.
I only had two stops to go and the smells of the city is nothing to me. I stayed on a bus even when someone threatened to blow the bus up. I nearly got my head bashed in with an umbrella when two people were about to fight over a seat. I even got stuck in the underground tunnel for 40 minutes. A little body odor wasn’t going to stop me from getting on the bus. O.k., it was a lot of body odor.
An elderly Asian woman caught my eye. Her face was frowning in utter disgust.
When she caught me staring at her, she gave me the universal “it stinks in here” sign. I gave her the nod. That lady and connected over the putrid smell that offended our nose.
When someone crosses a personal boundary, it is like an insidious smell that creeps up on you and lingers in your mind long after the person is gone.
Just like body odor, when someone crosses your boundary it always bothers offended the person more so than it bothers the offender.
What I have learned this month is that it is o.k. to have boundaries and make other people clear what your boundaries are. Don’t apologize for not accommodating for the needs and wants of others- especially if it is another adult.
I also learned that sometimes you have to move the lines of your own boundaries; they can keep people out of your life just as much as it can keep you trapped in your routine and comfort zone.
That is all. I have no more thoughts. You may go back to your day.
Side note: The city of San Francisco should be ashamed of the amount of homeless people, nearly homeless people, and people living in food deserts and in food scarcity. This city is way too rich to have this many suffering people.