She Keeps Her Dreams in Her Pocket

I ran into Kash at Cabela’s while wondering around the kid’s apparel racks.

She was doing her job and asked if she could help me.

She hadn’t heard of the controversy about Abercrombie & Fitch that erupted on the Internet a couple of weeks ago. I told her that I was convinced that Cabela’s was doing just the reverse of A&F. I found nothing in the women’s section for my small frame so I thought I would look around the kid’s racks. 

I had already rounded every rack in the men’s section for a size small. I had wanted to buy a couple shirts for my son to work in this summer. It had become obvious that men’s sizes started at medium.

“But you can order the small sizes.”

“Yes, I can but I’m a girl and I like to try on what I wear. Someday, you need to make it to a place in management where you can influence change in this store.”

That’s when the conversation turned away from the store and toward the twenty-three-year holding a handful of shirts on hangers.

Kash told me she was already working her way up, training others and that her plan was exactly what I had said---to work her way up into management.

I asked if she was getting her education. She explained that she had been told she didn’t really need it. 

I objected. She needed it, and she needed to get them to pay for it. She laughed.

We talked about the importance of education for a minute and then she said, “Can I show you something?”

She handed me the shirts she was holding and pulled out a sticky note from her jeans pocket. 

“I make goals everyday and write them on a little note. Today I have four goals. I put pennies in the pocket with the note, one for each goal. Each time I complete one of my goals I move a penny from one pocket to the other. I have already moved one today and I am about to move another.”

She unfurled her life before me with an air of determination I don’t often see in women her age.

As soon as I saw the neat line of goals scribbled faint with pencil lead, I asked what she was doing with the small pieces of yellow paper---- her everyday goals. “Do you journal? Are you keeping track of them?”

She nodded left to right. No.

“I think you should keep them. Get a little black book, put a date on the page and stick them in it. In a year, you will be so thankful that you have them and you’ll see how far intentional living has taken you.”

One of her penciled goals was to learn something new from a customer that day. 

I told her how much I admired her writing her goals down and loved the idea of using something as simple as a penny as motivation and a concrete way to measure her progress. I shared my goal of encouraging at least one person everyday, particularly a woman, to let somebody know that she is important in the world, and to the God who created her.

“I hope that you have found this conversation to be a blessing because I think you are awesome.”

Her wistful look let me know the conversation was ending. 

“I’ll see ya, Kash. It’s been nice talking to you.” But I knew I wouldn’t. My life is hours away from hers. I knew in my heart this would be my only encounter with this girl who had just pulled vulnerability out of her jeans pocket and shared her life with me. 

At the front counter, I found a manager. Her posture told me she was ready for the worst. “No worries,” I said. “The girl named Kash back in apparel--- she is awesome and I wanted to make sure you knew. She is an incredible girl in her generation and what an opportunity you have to help her accomplish her goals. There are big dreams tucked away in her jeans pocket and she needs people like you to help her to achieve them.”

“Wow, we never hear the positives. She is quite an incredible young lady. Yes, I will email corporate and tell them about Kash. Thank you for taking the time to tell me something positive. It’s a nice change. I appreciate it.” 

I carried no bags out of Cabela’s that day. As I walked toward the exit, the sensor finally caught my frame and the big automatic doors slid open. I walked into a beautiful spring day and made a mental note to put sticky notes on my grocery list.

Truth be told, Kash may have thought she had learned something from me last Saturday, but really it was the other way around.


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