The Dark Places
A few years ago I found myself sitting on a bus almost in tears. Less than 24 hours before I was given the news that my company was going under. When I walked into my store employees flocked to me for answers. There was nothing to say to them. Nothing to comfort them with. All I could do was listen to them and their fears. That night I locked the doors and 6 hours later I was on a plane to Seattle. The entire flight I was numb, but as long as I was flying for whatever reason it was okay. When I landed I wished that I decided to go anywhere but Seattle. Why didn’t I decide to make a flight home?
At the airport I got on a bus and headed for downtown. The reality of what happened hit me. I had been looking for a new job for months with no hope and I was about to be out of work. On top of that I was sitting next to someone who smelled like bologna and was yelling on her cell phone. When she got off the phone she took one look at me and said “I can feel your pain.” At that second I had been reduced to tears.
I told her my story and she looked at me for a moment and said “you are going to be okay. I know it.” She than told me that when she was about my age she left home because she couldn’t be the person who her family wanted her to be. She ended up homeless for a bit, went into debt, and lost all direction, but when she stopped feeling sorry for herself she began to look at her life and take stock of what was really important. Slowly but surely she pulled herself up. Now she was in a position that she could help others through her job and put her daughter through college. After her story she told me how sorry she was for me, but to remember that I had an education and job experience which gave me a leg up. Also that I was young enough that I could easily rebound. I needed to look for the positive and not just stay stuck in what was happening right now.
Her words were kind but firm enough that I realized that I would be in for some hard times, but it wasn’t the end of the world. However I still needed to mourn the loss and process what was happening, but I couldn’t allow myself to believe that my life was going to fall apart even though it really felt like it was about to.
My trip to Seattle could have gone very different. I could have focused on the cost of everything, or that I was by myself on the trip and knew no one or that Seattle can be a very gloomy, rainy place. Instead I let myself process the pain but I slowed down. I decided to photograph webs covered in raindrops. When the sun came out I ran to the Space Needle to get a great view of the city and went on a harbor cruise. The week became my retreat. I needed to not spend tons of money so I sat in cafes and sipped coffee and didn’t miss a single sunset over the bay. I did things for me. Things that helped me heal and see the good. I even went on to make friends. R was one of them and if you have read my blog at all you know how that turned out. 😉
The thing is is that even in the darkest moments there is light. We just need to look for it. Sometimes it is hard to see, but it is there. Sometimes in the darkest of nights, where there seems to be no hope at all you just need to have faith that it is there. Just know that in the end it will appear and everything will be okay. I promise you that. It will be okay.
How do you handle moments when you feel like the world has come crashing down one you?