*portions of this blog post were written on the 4th of july, 2016 & others 10 july, 2016
be grateful in all things, right?
most of you know my big mantra is “peace, love & gratitude.” at a certain point in time i became truly grateful for all i have; thanking the good lord for keeping me alive, sane, fed, watered, clothed & entertained on occasion. it may not be what i planned or even for which i continue to strive, but at the end of the day me, babybird & homerthewondermutt have exactly what we need, when we need it, plus a little extra from time to time.
in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of god in christ jesus concerning you.
1 thessalonians 5:18
4th of july, 2016
if you had told me one year ago i would be on a flight to london with an extremely kind human who thinks i am… (well let’s just leave it at the kind human part for now), i would not have believed you. well, because in 2015 i traveled abroad with another human (who was not so kind) & it turned into me finding my way home on my own. why would i ever entertain the idea of getting a second chance, but with someone who had my best interest at heart?
now i sit on a flight to london’s heathrow airport. in a few hours we will land, make our way to the city of london & from there, wimbledon. yes, wimbledon. i can play tennis. i really enjoy the game of tennis, but being a single mum, there was never extra money for things like tennis, golf, trainers or anything else, unless directed at the tiny human in my life worthy of such extras.
two very dear friends prolific in the game of tennis want me to return to the states with items from the mecca. it is one task of which i will not fail. it’s a little like people going to the masters…. someone wants them to return with a ball cap, golf shirt or the like with the master’s logo attached.
*side note: we did make it to Wimbledon, but were unsuccessful in acquiring tickets. scalpers do not exist & people “queue up” in a line more than 2km long waiting for a chance at tickets. therefore no gifts for friends. yet i am better prepared for the next opportunity.
so let’s go back to 2015, the 4th of july to be exact, where i sat at home & watched the tele, along with my mostly companion homerthewondermutt. i thought to myself as i listen to the crackle, pop, & boom of fireworks around my city, “this will never change. i will always be alone.”
i suffer from depression. some days more severe, depending on the day of the week, month of the year, etc… and for people like me, you can never truly see the light at the end of the tunnel. we are the ones who wake up each morning & start all over just like the film, “groundhog day.” it’s a cycle over & over again, sometimes with new actors for the same old characters, beginning each day telling ourselves, “today i can try one more time.” “today, it will be different.”
so here i sit one year later on a flight to london thinking to myself…”how in the hell did i get here?” perhaps it was the day i reached out & asked for help. but, let’s be clear, you cannot get better from other’s help alone. YOU have to do the work. the hard, deep down, dirty work to get here. it means showing up to places, events, meetings & discussions which are not always the most pleasant, but necessary. the conversations, which at the moment may be painful, disheartening & loathsome, but somehow, someway they put you on the path, the divine right direction where you are headed.
the world is crazy, unsafe, chaotic, loud & maddening. i recently had a conversation with a young woman who is in a similar business as me & she kept saying a phrase that has now stuck with me… “how can it get any better than this?” i remember lauren uttering these words during dinner & thinking “what is she talking about?” she continued & circled back around to it later in our meal, explaining “don’t stop saying it…'how can it get any better than this?' you find a dime; say the phrase. you find a quarter; say the phrase. you find $100; say the phrase. you. never. stop. saying. it.”
“how can it get any better than this?”
i am on a flight to london with a human who believes i don’t look at myself the way others see me, with my big heart putting others first. maybe one day i will. maybe after my week in london…but let’s not rush it. it’s only been a year, after all.
10 july, 2016
the trip to london was in some ways the trip of a lifetime, of which i am truly grateful. in other ways it taught me lessons in communication; how to tame anxiety & fear; to focus on being in the moment; seeing the beauty in the mundane when you take a different path; how the kindness of others can change your day; & truly taking life 15 minutes at a time.
some of my life’s greatest highs were experienced last week… the realization i was indeed in london, standing on the bank of the river thames, big ben right beside me & the other was being given the last ticket to shakespeare’s globe theatre’s sold out performance of “a midsummer night’s dream,” because one human put me first, knowing it was my favorite play & a bucket list item. i was overwhelmed by the gesture. (the other person managed to get in as well & watching their face light up with joy in experiencing something so new & magical, brought me to tears).
i will never be able to repay these acts of kindness, but what i can do is be grateful & say “thank you.” genuinely look at the individual & tell them how wonderfully lovely it was.
If the only prayer you ever say in your life is ‘thank you’ that would suffice. - eckhart tolle
evidently, traveling abroad for me never ends less than dramatically. the low point was waking the final morning & realizing my wallet was lost (most likely left in the uber car the evening prior.) panic begins to set in, but at a certain point you have to move forward. luckily PG had the good sense to bring a color copy of my passport, as well as the contents of my wallet. to the airport we went, beginning the delicate dance of re-entry into the US.
thankfully with proper preparation, i was able to communicate clearly at each safety checkpoint & then ushered forward. it was not easy, but it could have been worse. when i realized there was nothing more i could do about my wallet, i repeatedly praised god as i was grateful in all things, even the bad, all the while remembering the good of the best week.
*update: my wallet has since been recovered thanks to the fantastic uber support team!!
i say thank you to the humans in my life who are kind to me. it’s important they know. i write thank you notes, as i remind babybird to do on big occasions. we must speak our gratefulness throughout our days, because the question is “how can it get any better than this?”
the answer is: IT CAN ONLY GET BETTER!
thank you for reading, truly. my wish for you as always is…