The very sound of "Bless Your Heart" makes me want to yak. What is really being said is, "poor sucker, awe, life is rough when you are slow..." It's crap! Downright BS. It fits right up there with "that's life" really? That is what passes for encouragement these days. PTI-A-FREAKIN-FUL. So now we encourage our brothas and sistas with bumper- sticker platitudes and trite sayings from Chicken Soup for the Soul? Ouch.
*Side note* This blog could possibly be from the recent turn of events, those events being going home, the Holidays, and Finals in 2 weeks* I know, just breathe., step away from the 5 hour energy. So if this is blog has a bit more sass or zing to it, I make no apologies , like I ever do, but it is about time it was said! * Continue reading at your own free will :)
It is easy to forget our own thoughts and actions once we are removed from a situation. i.e. the loss of a friend, raising children, ( I got NOTHING on this one. I also refuse to open that can of worms.I am just trying to get you there, OK?) going through school, moving across state lines....yada yada yada . You get it. You is smart, You is kind, You is important :)
My (grass-fed) beef is that once we are out of a situation we become experts platitude givers . We offer little to no empathy or support to others who are walking the same road. I will put myself out there on this one. Most of you know over the last few years I have been gypsy livin! It has been some good times. Moved out and away, grew up ( work in progress, I know) Lived alone and loved it Well, 95% of the time. This ain't an SAT test, numbers are not scored here! I pride (Pride- that will come back around to bite your in the rear) myself on knowing how to make a budget, pack up an apartment, and start over. It's been a blast meeting new people, learning about different places, and really making my own life. There are stories that are special to me from each place I lived. Every place has a place in my heart and my life. but......
Each one also has its own struggles, defeats, and losses at every new place. I have forgotten how hard it is to pull up roots and start totally over. The move from home was the hardest. It by far was the best experience I have ever hard, but also the most challenging on many levels.My mind, at times, glosses over all of the hard parts and focuses on the good. So when I hear someone wants to move away I am the first to make a list of what is needed for packing up an apartment. ( Toss your junk before you move! There is always a Bed, Bath, & Beyond & a 20% off coupon close at hand:)
A friend of mine recently got into an excellent law school in DC. I said GO. Move across the country you can always move home, me you have seen! It is great advice, so proud of you , Jasmine <3. However, there is also more to it than just Lowes boxes and packing tape. It means pulling up roots, exposing yourself, and being VULNERABLE.. ( That means being ok with saying, HALP!) What better time to say, "Halp"
So, since I am nice and settled in CHICAGO ( I made it, baby!) , it is easy for me to dole out advice about moving, However, what I need to say is, Ah, moving. there is a reason it rates very high on the stress scale. Instead of just saying that blows.and walk away. Why not offer to help pack up, grab a box, or just say we should go spend a night walking around Bed , Bath, and Beyond. I have coupons. Bury me with em," ok?
I am reminded of how many people had patience with me when I first started out on my ASL journey. ILY BETH!!!!!!!!!!! <3 I now work in the ASL lab at school so now I deal with ASL one students. They are so cute! Scared crapless! It is something else to walk in there with everyone who can sign like it aint no thing and ask you what you need help with. If you can get your knees to stop shakin' long enough, and your hands to work, and your brain to remember how to spell your own name, you are in the red, baby! It is a good day. But it aint, your hands are clammy, you know the sign for book and the polite girl behind the desk signs BOOK , but you get that deer in the headlight look. Fifteen minutes later communication has happened. Now, I look back on those days fondly! Ah, good times, right? Well, kinda.
It is the job of the older ones to help guide the younger ones. It is really a charge to the ones who have walked before to show them how you survived Panel 1 & Panel 2 ! OMG. That means we should speak edifying words to each other like...." I remember those days, you need to go to tutoring every week to improve," or other sound advice.Of course there is a time to lead the pack, and let them figure it out on their own. But that's another day.
So the charge is that those of us who have survived, perhaps a little beaten up, but still here, should serve as a guide to the ones who are following in our foot steps. Also, are our footsteps what they should follow? It isn't that have to be perfect, but did you do the best you could?
I think of the holiday season and how many people will be without a loved one at the table. I sobbed at I Miss You Most At Christmas Time by Mariah Carey the other day. Absolutely reduced to sobs and snot. It hurts. The holidays will be rough this year. So say a prayer for those families this year that will have one less at their table. An empty place an the table means an emptier place in the hearts of the ones that loved the one that has gone on. Hurts.
People say life is but a vapor. I get it. SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!. When a person is closer to 50 it is easier to say that so carelessly, sometimes, even down right cold. At 26, my friends are my family up in Chi. School and work is my life right now. So it isn't just oh whatever, it doesn't matter. It does to me. It is all about perspective. So before judgement is passed, stop, think, then speak. Remember being 26 and sometimes feeling like the world is crashing down? Sometimes it does feel that way. Sometimes it does all go up in smoke. This life turns on a dime. So saying life is short at 50 holds a different meaning than at 26. I have a longer journey. 26 > 50, 'member?
The whole point is to remember what it was like when you walked that same road. It isn't the friend who remembers those days that means anything to you . It is the one that sees you in the mire and climbs down in with you. Not the one who sees you in the hole and says, "that's life, I would come down there, but I can't get dirty. Life is rough, wanna sammich ?" There is a time for sammiches and to pull your own self up. However, sometimes we just need someone who gets it. Who knows that grief is a process and sometimes it does SUCK.Things aren't always going to be ok. That in itself is ok, too. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. These things take time. Dance when it's time to dance, and cry when your heart is heavy. Don't dismiss someone because you have survived said experience. Consider it a pleasure that he or she is comfortable enough to be vulnerable with you. Remember a time in your own life when if one more person said "deal, that's life" you were going to cry. The bible says love is what separates the world from the Christians. Love is a verb. Love sits in the muck and mire. Platitudes give you a handout, a sammich. Love gives you a hand up, a hand to hold.
So are you climbing down in the trenches? Or are you holdin' a sammich?