How to Find Love

This is a love story. A love for people. A love for culture. A love for life.

I started out my Valentine’s day wanting to live an adventure for myself. Who needs a significant other on this cliché holiday anyway? This is 2018, and Valentine’s day is about love. That doesn’t mean your love needs be poured out to someone else like a box of candy hearts just to say that one specific phrase.

As a Valentine’s gift for myself, I bought a ticket to see the Chainsmokers in concert. They are my favorite band after all, and they were playing right here in London. I found a new friend who loves them too, and we went together. It was perfect. The day was going to be spectacular and filled with awesome memories. The day turned out to be memorable, to say the least.

Basically, it was a bunch of cold and wet miserableness, enclosed around 1 hour and 15 minutes’ worth of fun at the concert listening to the Chainsmokers perform. Because my friend and I were waiting outside in the rain, shoved shoulder to shoulder in a mass of people, having dollops of raindrops splashed onto us in the cold and windy weather, we achieved front row standing spots for the concert. We were so close to the stage that we could feel the on-stage fire effects charring our eyebrows in a slightly too burnt kind of way. The drummer, at one point, rocked out while his sticks were on fire. Literally. The visual effects that went along with their set were fantastic.

The problem was not the concert, but rather what came next. It was nearly midnight, and we had three Uber drivers cancel on us without good reason. The time was 11:20, and we had nearly already missed our train back home. We were soaking wet, freezing, and frustrated. There is almost nothing more uncomfortable than that. My friend’s phone was the only one with data to call an Uber driver, but it only had only 5 percent battery left. Our options were running out.

What did we do?

We called another Uber driver and prayed that he didn’t cancel on us. It was booked and the app said he was on his way. Three percent battery now. This Uber driver was considerate enough to call us, and let us know he was close but stuck in the traffic. Car after car kept pulling into the parking lot, but none with the license plate that we were looking for. Five minutes passed. Ten minutes passed. He still wasn’t there. Frightful that he’d canceled on us too, we were getting desperate. Two percent. I was about to give up all hope, right when the phone rang again. It was him. He was here, and he could see us. Never have I been so happy to be flashed by someone’s high beams.

We got in the car and thanked him tremendously for finding us. He could tell we were a bit anxious. I explained how the three previous Ubers drivers canceled on us, and we had missed our train back home. He told us that everything was going to be alright. He advised us to look up the next train to Colchester and lent us his 99 percent charged phone upon finding out that ours were dead and had no data to work from. 12:18 a.m. That was the next scheduled train and it was only 11:35. We had time. We were going to make it home.

I asked if he had lived here for very long. Two years. He had immigrated from Nigeria. I asked if he missed home. He answered with, “Of course, but there is nothing at home that I can’t have here. This is 2018. We are connected all over the world now. There is no need to miss home.” I could relate to everything this man had just said. I’ve been missing the familiarity of home a bit lately, but there is no point because my parents really are just one skype call, one Facebook messenger call, one snapchat call away at any point in time.

This man had the calmest energy to him that I have ever seen. He was so grateful for everything. He seemed to acknowledge the irreplaceable value of life and be grateful for every breathe. It made me wonder why everyone doesn’t do this. Technology puts the world at our fingertips, and yet we complain about most things every single day. I, myself, have felt like I had spent the past few hours complaining about mother nature, incompetent Uber drivers, and the lack of free wi-fi. Why though? What do I have to complain about? Unless you’re someone who is about to get their head chewed off like a gummy bear by a ferocious lion or tiger or bear (oh my), what does anybody have to complain about?

It was humbling to talk to this Uber driver. It helped remind me of how grateful I am to be learning about another culture first-hand. Out of curiosity, I ended the conversation by asking him what the greatest life decision he ever made was? He took a sincere moment to ponder my question. We pulled up to the train station. Before we got out of the car, he came to a decision. His answer was, “looking for my wife.” He explained that he knew early that he wanted to find a wife who was intelligent. He was not talking about intelligent in the sense of going to college and getting a degree, but rather intelligent in the sense that she was someone who knew what she wanted in life and was able to appreciate every step along the way. Through one crazy day, too much rain, and an amazing Uber driver, I learned to fall in love with life again.

Tip of the day: Always make sure that your phone is fully charged when you go to a concert and still has enough battery left to call a ride home when it’s over.