I looked at form from the doctor—three columns of possible lab tests, with ten to fifteen check off in each column—and thought, “whelp.” Like an actual whelp. Like WTF, how can that even possible on one form whelp. So when my buddy, Joe, offered to go with me, I silenced the part of me that normally demands I tough it up and accept no help, and agreed to his wonderful offer. Then I asked wait, what do you think it going to happen? And he said, “you never know. It’s a lot.”

The thing is I usually don’t mind going to Lab Corp. V. runs the show there, and the woman is amazing. Like truly amazing. Makes you feel safe and calm and seen—even though you are afraid of needles and blood draws amazing. I’ve met other local people who go to this Lab Corp, and we stand there gushing about how great she is a passerby would think we are talking about a delicious massage therapist or a personal trainer that can turn you into Beyonce rather than a phlebotomist. I was actually excited for Joe to meet her because I may actually be in love with her. BUT—-she wasn’t there.

I didn’t see her SUV in the parking lot (don’t judge me—she has a distinctive license plate that advertises her side hustle ) and my spirits fell a little, and I was even more grateful that Joe came with me. But I regrouped. I would make the best of this—the three columns of checkmarks not withstanding.

My usual way of dealing with situations I don’t want to be in is to learn more about the people around me. I started to asked the great lady checking me in about why she draws blood, which lead to a conversation about going back to school. I found myself repping Thomas Edison State University, where I work in the nursing department. Then it was time to get the blood drawn. A fine man, who paid me subtle compliments and pronounced himself Sir J., took over and began the process of what would wind up to be 52 vials of blood by the end of the day.

While I politely ignored him, I introduced Joe to the great lady who checked me in. As things happen when Joe and I roll in, we quickly found out she suffers from some PTSD and anxiety. This was all it took for us to launch into our virtues of hypnosis road show. This was followed up by a quick NLP session conducted by Joe, which zapped the great lady’s anxiety to a zero. All while I was getting vial after vial drawn.

There is never a dull moment around here, but hey, if you have a gift to share with the world—do it—no matter the place. We are born to spread our light. Joe doing his NLP helped the great lady see a different way of approaching something that was probably pretty distressing. For my own part, I like to ask people questions and make them laugh, even if I myself am in the middle of a pretty distressing situation. I want to make connections and really see people for who they are underneath the job title or the way they need to present to the world.

To me, it’s this way: we can choose light or dark. I could have walked in nervous and upset and pretty pissed off about the whole situation (especially because V. wasn’t there—I might not be over that yet), and with that bad attitude, everyone else would have been affected. It would have bounced around those walls into the fine man and the great lady and back on to me. We wouldn’t have talked to the lady about a solution to her problems or going back to school. I wouldn’t have felt the care of friendship. I would have missed the things to be grateful for and the connections to be made.

So after all it is a lot, but not in a bad way. It’s a lot because we all are afforded so many opportunities in our every day to show up, see others, and be seen.