After what I thought was a very positive interview on Monday, I was told two days later that I wouldn't be entering the Christmas period flinging fivers at the bar tender in anticipation of entering the new year with an actual salary and what they call 'a sense of purpose'. Instead, that great sprawling chasm of 'The Unknown' seemed to widen even more, as I found myself stood in Wimbledon waiting for my boyfriend in the misty rain, whilst scrolling through Instagram pictures of people who seemed to have 'gotten in together' and forgot to drop me the memo.
To summarise, I was feeling pretty glum. Even the thought of eating pizza with a double cheese topping and watching J-Law kick some Capitol bum didn't help. My chest felt heavy and each puddle, honking car horn and impatient commuter seemed to press in more offensively than before. Such were my thoughts as I stood in line for the cinema box office, sullenly hoping that I'd have enough change to get some cheap popcorn afterwards, when a small hand tapped me lightly on the shoulder.
'Excuse me love, but we've got two spare cinema vouchers that we aren't going to get a chance to use, and we wondered whether you'd like them instead?'
I didn't know this lady or her husband and they didn't know me. They didn't know the day I'd had or the amount of job rejections I'd received. They didn't know that I was feeling particularly disenchanted and overlooked, yet that small act of kindness, which seemed so simple and ordinary, meant so very, very much to me at that moment.
I tried to make my thanks sound as sincere out loud as I felt it was in my head, and as her husband nodded 'Merry Christmas' I felt overwhelmed with gratitude and faith. If I was a Christian I would use the word 'numinous', but I'm not and and can only give a nod to something I feel is far more profound. A faith in humanity, a faith in the simple kindness of others, a faith in doing small acts of goodness that can so significantly impact those around you.
After filling my belly, offloading onto my boyfriend and going to the cinema courtesy of that lovely, lovely couple, I felt a sense of duty to introduce more acts of kindness into my life.
Whether it's buying a hot pasty for someone in need of food, helping carry a buggy up the endless staircases of the London Underground, or simply smiling and saying 'hello' to your bus driver, I truly feel that doing 'the small every day deeds of ordinary folk helps keep the darkness at bay'.
After all, if Gandalf says it's so, who am I to disagree?