One Question from A Homeless Woman Changed My Life

By Isabella Rolz

It was an awful day. At least that’s how my narcissistic self was perceiving that specific Friday. I had failed another Statistics exam, after studying for three days in a row. I had just started fighting with my mom through Skype because my rent was too high – I used to leave the lights on at all times in my apartment. I know, don’t judge me. And last but not least, I was having some drama with a group of friends from my floor. All I wanted was a freaking iced-latte and some sweet dessert. So, I decided to take the bus to the mall and sit in the really cute coffee shop inside.

However, due to the horrendous weather, the bus got delayed by a couple of minutes so I was forced to sit and wait and wait and wait! At time I was unaware that these minutes were going to change my college-mentality completely and would wake me up from my superficial and self-centered fantasies.

While I was sitting down, an old lady approached me. She asked, “Why are you sad?” Honestly, I didn’t want to respond. I grabbed my phone and pretended I was texting people to avoid her. But she stayed there waiting for my response, so I looked up and said, “Nothing, it’s alright.” But while responding I noticed the lady had no teeth, her hair was pretty messy, she was a hunchback and the old dress she was wearing had a couple of holes. Nonetheless, despite all of these imperfections, she looked extremely happy and curious at the same time.

She asked, “Why are you sad?” Honestly, I didn’t want to respond.

“Why are you not smiling then?” she asked. “Let me tell you something, you’re beautiful because your teeth are complete and your hair is long and healthy. You’re lucky, because you’re wearing a coat and not a dress like mine, and because you have the opportunity to study at such a great school like this one. So then again darling, why are you sad? There’s no reason to be that way!”

After all of her words, I was pretty ashamed of myself. She was completely true. My problems were so superficial in comparison to her problems. In that exact moment, I understood how lucky I was to even by waiting for a bus to drop me off at a mall so that I could purchase a nice dessert for myself. I was more than lucky to be living in a nice apartment with some of my closest friends, and even more lucky to be studying at one of the most prestigious schools in America! Since that day, I’ve learned to appreciate all of the occurrences that happen in my life, from the very small things to the huge things; from the failures to the accomplishments, because not everyone gets the chance to open doors like these ones!


Keep up with Isabella on Instagram, @isarolz!