Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Perspective (or "The day I cried in the Walgreen's Parking Lot")

Sometimes when you've been struggling hard for a long time, it eventually feels like every single problem, even the smallest inconveniences, start to feel like the Universe is conspiring against you.

All little more than two weeks ago now, I wrote a Sunday Confession about Hope.  I cried as I wrote the entire second half of that post.  Life has not been a cakewalk in a while.  I felt terrible writing it, because as much as I needed to write that post and to acknowledge what is really going on with me for myself, at the same time I struggled with feeling like I was taking the hurt inside of me and spreading it on everyone willing to read it, like I was smearing shit on perfectly good white bread by exposing people to the ugly feelings I had been holding onto so tight and making others a part of the shit sandwich that felt like my life.

I thought about deleting it and starting over as I read it over and over again.  It's amazing how even in those moments when we're sobbing at our own misfortunes we still care what people think of us.  

The messages of love and support and understanding were incredible.  Nothing was instantly better, mind you.  But for some reason having people identify with me and let me know that they care and support me was something that I definitely needed.

On Friday afternoon I went to the post office and picked up a box.  A friend had told me she was going to send me something.  I was completely unprepared for what I got in the mail.  I opened the box to find a sweet, thoughtful and generous care package full of all the things someone who is having a hard time might need complete with one of the most heartfelt notes I've ever received in my life.  I was overwhelmed as I looked through the wonderful things in the box.

I put the box on my passenger seat and just sat there.  Then I got in my car and drove to the grocery store.  As I walked around in a cloudy haze, I thought about the person who had sent me the package and everything in the wonderful box.  As I continued on with my Friday errands, I pulled into the Walgreens' parking lot just as my mom called.  I told her about the box and the person who had sent it to me.  And then, there in the Walgreens' parking lot parked in front of the Redbox, I cried.

I genuinely needed those tears, as strange as it sounds.  They were tears of happiness, thankfulness, release, and maybe there were a few "just because" tears in there.  I was blown away and overwhelmed by the wonderful blessing and the beautiful words from a woman who has never met me "in real life" but seemed to know me so well.  I had been fighting so hard, and things just couldn't seem to go right and then someone reached out and blessed me... for no reason other than they could and they wanted to.

I went home that night and vowed to take a night for myself.  I didn't blog.  I didn't post on Facebook.  I just took a hot shower, munched on some snacks, watched some tv, and went to bed early.  And it felt good.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty good still and decided it was time to make some steps in the right direction so I got showered, dressed, and put on some makeup before heading down to the Farmer's Market.

When I stepped into my kitchen on my way out the door, however... there was a beautiful green butterfly flying around my kitchen.

That might not sound like a big deal, except my vents all have screens on them, and my house has been closed up for weeks.  While some people might wonder about the cleanliness or extent of the draftiness in my home,  I saw it as a sign that things are about to get better.  And as I collected the butterfly and brought it outside I spoke to it, wished upon it, thanked it for visiting and set it free.

Maybe that is silly.  But I've found sometimes that when things are going wrong, it is easy to become blinded to the little miracles and beauties of life.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in the negative that it is easy to go stomping through the mud left by the rains and not see the rainbow.

The truth is that I needed that box of love.

 Suddenly, everything didn't seem so dark and ominous.  And it renewed my faith in people...which is something I desperately needed after feeling so jaded and let down by some of the people closest to me.  I am still struggling, but having someone reach out and bless me like that reminded me that while I can and should be honest about the trials and tribulations of my situation, being negative about it isn't going to fix those things.  I need to approach things not expecting the worst, but hoping for the best.  Sometimes when things are going wrong, a little light in the dark makes it just a little bit easier to see and strengthens us for the journey ahead.

I don't know if the person who sent it to me realized just how much they would be doing for me.  But it was like someone hit my Reset button and I felt ready to try again, like my batteries had been replaced with fresh ones, and I desperately needed that.

Words felt inadequate at the time, and they still do.  I could send a hundred "Thank You"s and it wouldn't feel like enough.

I don't have a lot right now and I'm still struggling.  But, I realize that I am still able to take care of myself and I definitely should.  It's time to be a pretty, happy girl again and I need to be kinder to myself.  I also realized that I am so fortunate in so many ways that I can still be a blessing to someone else.  Maybe not in the same way, but there are some things I could be doing to bolster someone else the way my friend reached out and bolstered me.

 I don't think I'll ever be able to thank the wonderful woman who sent me the box enough.  But I hope she knows that she taught me something important...when the world feels ugly, it is amazing what kindness from another person can do for us, and we should all try to be kind to each other now and then because you never really know how far a little kindness is going to go; A little love (even from miles away) can be a game-changer.


  1. Such a beautiful post. I'm so sorry it's been so rough. I wish you many more of those moments of love and beauty. I have received some of those at my darkest moments, and they changed me forever. xoxo

  2. Your words are so beautiful, but then again, SO ARE YOU! I am glad that someone sent you just what you needed....a little bit of hope to hold on to. Sending hugs <3

  3. Sometimes a moment of kindness can have the biggest impacts on our lives.

    I am so glad your friend sent you that box.

    And I am on the same wave lengths you are-that the butterfly is a sign of better things to come.

    Love to you lady.

  4. That is such a great friend to do that for you! Depression is something that is tough to get through and while it may seem like nothing is going to get better there are moments like with the box and the butterfly that you had that reminds us that not everything is just a 'Horrible bag of smelly nuts and dicks' (something I actually screamed at someone when I was asked how I felt) I hope you have more moments like this and also meet more friends like that

  5. Gosh I know how much a good cry and a good friend come in handy when you're feeling down. And the butterfly definitely meant something. Big hugs!!

  6. I have written those kinds of posts, and thought wow no one is going to want to read my pity party but it felt good to write it just the same. No more crying in Walgreens parking lots. Beautiful post!