Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Life has new meaning to me

Dragging my feet as I walked up the steps of the 38L (limited) Muni bus, I felt the winter like wind penetrating my sweatshirt. The journey home after a long day at work was still an hour or so away. My head was down as I pulled out my Fast Pass and showed it to the bus driver. As I started toward to find my place on the bus, the bus driver held on to my Fast Pass and said, "Hey, Hey." I didn't know what was wrong. Then he held on to my hand. The first thought that came to my mind was, "Is there something wrong with my Fast Pass?" Then the bus driver said, "I just want to shake your hand. I'd followed your story on TV. I know who you are. It's so good to finally meet you in person." All the while he was holding on to my hand. As the bus roared down the street heading toward downtown, the bus driver expressed to me how warm he felt each time he saw me on TV. He then apologized for calling me out and holding on to my hand. He said he didn't know what else to do when he recognized me. I told him I thought I had done something wrong. He then started talking rapidly about his feeling on my experience and transformation, as well as how he could relate to my story. What really hit me was when he told me my story made him feel that life truly is meaningful.

Before the swirling Spring wind engulfed me as I descended the steps of the bus at the Powell street stop, I got to know that Gordon came to the US from Hong Kong when he was 12; he could have been in my shoes; he had been driving the bus for 9 years.

Being recognized on the bus and on the streets is not a rare occurrence for me. Due to ethnic media support and community's acceptance of my new role in life, I got to meet many wonderful folks who had kept me focused and not go astray. For that, I am always grateful.

Thanks to Gordon, life has another renewal meaning to me.