What I Learned About Myself Today

I went to see yet another oral surgeon today and it actually was not a bad experience. The oral surgeon was very kind and the people in his office were super sweet. Although he was booked up until next week, his receptionist managed to squeeze me in today.

He basically suggested that I wait before doing anything drastic and I truly appreciated him saying that. The price he quoted me was half of what the other oral surgeon quoted me. I got really excited when he told me and I wish I hadn’t, haha -__-. But I was just so shocked because the difference between what they quoted was so vast. The first one quoted me $6,050 for the procedure and the one I saw today gave me a ballpark figure around $3,500.

It was quite interesting. I think that I will return to him again and hopefully he won’t be like, “dang, if that other surgeon charged so much, I should charge more too.” Haha.

Teeth pain and oral surgeons aside, I learned something really interesting about myself today. It’s a realization that I don’t think would have come if I didn’t really listen to God. Basically, I’m a colder person than I realized.

During all these doctor visits, I’ve gotten to know a lot of people in dental offices. The last office I went to had this super friendly receptionist and she was like, “wow, you’re so nice! (: “and the receptionist and the assistant at the second office I went to today were both saying pretty much that I was a nice person.

Like I said, I do my best to be a good person and spread good vibes but I realized that I have a tendency to make people feel bad when I feel threatened. Which is normal, of course.. but it’s something I never realized until today. I went home and then I felt this distance between God and me. I prayed about it… and then I realized that before I went to see the oral surgeon today, I had an encounter with a homeless man on the street.

It seriously would have slipped my mind if God hadn’t brought it up to me. Basically, I was waiting at the stoplight. The homeless man crossed the street and I stared ahead. I felt him make eye contact with me and then he turned and kept asking me for change. I put on my best ice-queen face and stared ahead, glaring.

My mom caught up to me and told me that I forgot the DVD for my CT scan in the car. I quickly strode off without even casting another look at the homeless man.

So here I was, at home in my comfortable bed listening to music on my IPad and drinking the expensive Gwenyth-Paltrow endorsed Moon Juice that costs an arm and a leg per satchel, and I felt that I was a pretty good person because some dental assistants said that I was nice. But the truth is that I’m not a good person at all. God’s got a lot of work to do in me.

And God showed me that I had no place in ignoring that homeless man. I should not have glared ahead and treated him like he wasn’t human. Why did I do that?

I think I was scared that if I made eye contact, he would hit me or try to hurt me. A lot of the things I do that are cold are just out of fear. I don’t like being vulnerable and if it comes down to it, I’m determined to be the one who strikes first. When people tell me I’m nice, it only reinforces the feeling that I need to do something to show people that they can’t take advantage of me.

As I write this, I get flashbacks to moments when I really did hurt people out of fear.  I have a vague memory of me doing something and a friend wincing and saying, “Oohh, that’s cold.”

There are few people who hurt others for the fun of it. Most of us just hurt others because we’re afraid.

But regardless, I should have, and if I could go back I would, at least made eye contact with him and acknowledged him as a human being. Even if it was to say, “Sorry, I don’t have change” or “Can I buy you some food instead?”

And what if he did try to punch me or hit me? I could dodge and it was a busy street. The truth is, it was wrong to ignore him and treat him worse than I would a homeless dog on the street. And I thank God for showing me what I did… because it was wrong.

Because what’s really separating me from a homeless person on the street? We’re just a job, an apartment and a few weeks apart.


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