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one time while taking a very crowded train home from chicago, i was forced to sit next to a stranger. obviously this happens a lot, but most of the time people ignore you or sleep. however, this one time in particular, a woman struck up a conversation with me. she was an older black woman, very well put together and articulate. she told me she worked as some sort of correctional officer or a guard (for lack of better word) at a prison. i told her that she must be very brave, because i would never have the courage to do her job. she told me how there were times she was scared, really scared at her job. but she also went on to tell me how she saw people change in prison. she told me she saw people find god and turn their lives around. she told me how she tried to help as much as she could, that she felt rewarded when she felt she made an impact on their lives by trying to help them turn around. 

she then told me how there were boys who were my age who were consistently in and out all the time, and how she tried to help them see that they had such a long life to live and better things to do than what they were involved in. 

she told me how she put her son through college, how she has a baby granddaughter. she asked me about my plans, my family. she was amazing, and i’ve never seen her since. 

i think about that conversation a lot, though. there are amazing people all around us all the time, and we never know it. we interact with them, we sit next to them on trains. it’s important to listen to people when they have a story to tell. 

i don’t really remember if i talked to my friends about my conversation with that amazing woman, but i do know it’s stuck with me for the past two years. 

, #my life #conversations on trains #this is really long sorry u don't have to read it #but i was thinking about this today