what I learnt from singing with strangers.

Have you ever had one of those weird experiences while driving? You’re driving on the freeway. It’s 100km/hr. There’s this one car cruising at 90, so you decide to overtake. Fast forward a few minutes and the stranger has magically decided to drive the speed limit. Now they’ve overtaken you and within a matter of seconds, you’re tailgating them. Before you know it, it’s this game of leap frog. It’s awkward, hey?

Or my personal favourite – you’re matching speed with another car and awkwardly make eye contact. One of you speeds up, but then suddenly you’re both stopped at the same set of lights.  Yep, can confirm I feel you cringing from here.

GIF of Homer Simpson slowly disappearing into a bush.

Well, I have one to add to my list. One that had never happened before. The other day, I was driving by myself and had stopped at a set of lights. I looked in the rear view mirror at the car behind me to find a young couple absolutely belting out a banger.

Usually, I would smirk a little and exhale slightly at this sort of behaviour, because I know well and truly that it would be something I would do. However, this situation deserved something so much more. Their passion and enthusiasm were somewhat invigorating.

Naturally, I wondered what song they were listening to that required such aggressive dance moves. I began channel surfing, flicking through the frequencies trying to determine the song that, unbeknownst to the pair of strangers, they were performing for me. Eventually, I reached The Edge 96.1 and Dessert by Dawin was playing.

Now, if you know the song – this next part will make more sense. Confident that I had tuned in to the correct backing track to their lip sync battle, I lingered a moment on the station. As I continued watching, eagerly awaiting the chorus – the couple delivered precisely what I had been waiting for. Right on time with the boop bup dippity dup, doopy dip dup” part, they reached their peak performance.

Would you believe me if I said, that this wasn’t even the best part? The lights turned green and I figured that was the last time I was ever going to see the dancing pair. Little did I know that we would stop beside each other at the next set of lights.

As I glanced over at the other lane, I looked over at them both smiling (the boyfriend low-key head banging at this stage). They caught me watching, so I knew this could go two ways: I either pretend like I wasn’t some creepy chick staring at their mini rave party to save embarrassment, or I do the only sane thing any normal person would do – start head banging as well.

Obviously, I immediately chose the latter. I began singing and dancing along and the couple quickly realised that I was listening to the same song. Their smiles grew even larger than I thought possible. Who knew sitting in traffic could actually be fun?

Other than being hilarious, the whole experience of singing with these strangers made me think. Perhaps the kind of attitude that I have and the type of energy that follows, not only impacts me. I have the opportunity to share my gratitude, thoughts and positive energy with those I come in contact with. Likewise, when I’m not feeling overly happy and bubbly or I have had a bad day, others see that negative energy and I am potentially feeding theirs too.

I’m not saying that we should never show that we are anything but happy. Rather, I’m saying, how about we start actively recognising how our attitude can positively or negatively impact not only our perspective but others, too.

The people we choose to be friends with generally share common values and interests. We naturally gravitate toward people who make us feel comfortable. It makes sense. To feel supported, encouraged, loved and happy. Who wouldn’t want to feel all of those things? After all, they do say, “your vibe attracts your tribe”.

They also say that “the grass is always greener where you water it”. But something that I have realised is that people are the same. Fill yourself with negative things and you will wither, but surround yourself with good people and their positivity will be a catalyst for your growth.

So I want to ask you this: if we have the ability to unintentionally make someone’s day, imagine the difference we could make if we all intentionally tried to spread positivity. With everyone actively seeking opportunities to make someone smile, laugh or turn their entire day around – imagine how different the world would be.

Sure, we might not be able to change the world, but you can make a difference in someone’s life which could mean the world to them. And I think that’s pretty damn special. I want to be that kind of world changer. Who’s with me?

Keep smiling. x

Radiate positive vibes.

I recently got a job at a small local supermarket and have been exposed to not only new opportunities, but new people – which is my favourite part of working.

A middle-aged man came in the other day while I was working at the register. As he walked up to the counter to pay for his groceries I smiled and asked, “Hey! How are you?” He replied, “I’m cool thanks Jessica”, with a smile almost too big for a Monday. Two things surprised me about his comment. He not only said he was “cool”, but he said my name. I had no idea who this guy was and I think he realised I was a bit confused, so he went on to say, “your name’s on the front screen” while pointing and grinning. 

A couple days later the same man came in and I recognised him straight away when I asked, “how are you?” and again his response was, “I’m cool thanks.” This time when he came to the register I began a conversation and asked him how his day was going. As he handed over his money he said, “my day has been really good thanks, but any day is a good day if you look at it that way.” 

Isn’t he just the coolest guy ever? Each time I had seen him he was radiating positive vibes. That’s the kind of person I want to be. This man not only made my day, but he encouraged me to not let the events of my day dictate the way I feel. If you wake up in a bad mood thinking that you will have a bad day, then that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Don’t let difficult things you experience today reflect how you feel. Try your best to look at the positive things, despite how hard it can get. Be positive and be cool. 

Keep smiling. x