I’ve been in Georgia for the last few weeks enumerating with the Census Bureau. I had seen the experience as an opportunity to kind of get in touch with some frustrations that I was having with my self. In my head the beautiful scenery, a break from my own normalcy, and the free time I knew I would be getting sounded like the right move. In many ways I traded a monotonous experience for another, but this one just had a different wallpaper. Still, the time spent in my car driving through wealthy suburbs, unkempt apartment complexes, and forgotten dirt roads was well worth it. I had a chance to laugh at some new podcasts, check out some audio books, and meet some incredibly nice people. Maybe it’s because I’ve become more jaded with my perspective on people, but I have been genuinely pleased with my interactions that I’ve had on a daily basis. Maybe I feel this way because I am generally a very judgemental person, a lot more than I can probably admit. I know this is true because there are so many moments where I catch myself expecting the worst in a scenario and find myself leaving with a sense of satisfaction that there are truly good people out there. It’s a breath of fresh air for me, because the world that I imagine myself living in is filled with people whose only aim is to use you until you’re worthless.
One small joy that beckons toward my cynical self is felt when I’m sent to an address that I’ve previously visited several times. In these cases they are usually places where people have flat-out refused to lend me a second of their time. While most of my peers become disheartened through constant refusals, I live for the moment of eruption. The explosive breakdown of the person who has just had enough of census door knockers and who is willing to do just about anything to get it to stop. When they finally open their door, and through their defeated demeanor and tear filled eyes I can see them reevaluating their decisions up to this point. That satisfaction is appetizing.
Sometimes it’s the little things.