I have a friend I do a favor for once a week. There's a woman in the neighborhood we call the Salad Lady. She makes weekly delicious and complex salads and posts them on Instagram to sell. You pick them up at her house at noon. Since it's the middle of the day and my friend works full time, I pick hers up for her and take it to her house using her garage code. I park my car in her driveway and walk to the garage and I wait. I once told her, jokingly, how slooowww her garage door was. And I was sure I was right, that hers was slower than any other garage door I've ever encountered. This is a weird example of how my brain, from time to time, fixates on things that don't matter. Like, was it even worth mentioning? I'm thinking not. And yet.
Like so many times before, I find myself convinced of my objective correctness in my feelings. But over the years I've come to realize a hard new truth: That feelings aren't, in fact, facts. I know. This has been a bizarre and difficult pill to swallow, one I have trouble with again and again. It just won't go down. I am so sure so much of the time. And as I experience my life and consider this newfound knowledge and what it means, I go back, every week, to drop off my friend's salad. And I stop at the garage key pad and wait for the door to open. It still feels slow, and I'm impatient and often stoop low to hurriedly duck under and go in. But every time I do it, this lesson is cemented further into my mind-- that it's not actually slower than any other garage door, but that how I was experiencing it was different from how I usually experienced garage doors, which is from inside my car, at my own house. One I would never declare being particularly slow. I'm accustomed to the speed of it. I watch it curve up. I still get impatient and start to inch in as soon as I feel I can without catching it on my way in. But I know now that hers isn't any slower than mine or any other, but that it just felt that way from where I was standing (because I was standing), from my point of view. And that my point of view from where I stand is not always unequivocally the objectively correct one-- shocker. And I would perhaps do well to challenge it, as well as change it, I suppose, from time to time.