Conversations With Strangers

I am currently travelling. I decided that I desperately needed a break from everything going on in my life. And I really do need a break.

There aren’t that many people who read my thoughts here that actually know me in real life. So I’m not really sure how I look to those who are on the outside looking in. And I don’t really care because I am here and typing because I need to be; because writing is something that is etched into my soul and the longer I go without putting my thoughts on paper, the harder things tend to get for me.

The last several months have been really hard. I had what really felt like a cascading event failure, where one problem and my inability to deal with things well seemed to create more issues and things I dealt with even more poorly. As the events continued to pile up and I continued to react worse and worse to everything, I did a lot of damage to a lot of things in my life. The biggest and hardest to fully cope with was the destruction of a friendship that meant everything to me.

So I took all the proper steps for a series of significant, life-changing events. I still talk to the appropriate people and I do all the things I’m supposed to do. I follow the instructions that I’m given and I do everything in my power to rebuild and move forward. I started learning about how to see positive aspects of everything and working to not let my brain dwell on the negative parts of my life. For the most part, everything really has been awesome lately. I’ve been getting back on my feet, and then even applies to being able to walk normally down stairs now, which is huge because it means my spectacularly broken ankle is finally healing to the point where I feel like I might be physically superhuman at some point ever.

But last week, I was forced to face the fact that when everything went wrong, I destroyed a friendship that meant everything to me. There was a communication error of epic proportions. All my words were bound to fail and I didn’t even realize it. I didn’t know that the happy, awesome things in my life that I was trying to share weren’t even being heard. That I was still being viewed as the Negative Nancy who is single-handedly capable of destroying all that I touch and hurting those I care about. That it’s easier to stop watching the original Star Wars Trilogy at the end of the Empire Strikes Back because it ends in a less than pleasant place and because it was so unsatisfying that seeing the Return of the Jedi isn’t on the list of things to do.

So right before I left for the airport, I tried to share something amazing. And, as always, it backfired. I need to learn how to listen better. I need to stop talking. I need to stop trying. I have to give up on hope because hope has failed me so drastically that I can’t even begin to talk about how hard the last several months have been and how much things have hurt. I didn’t know I was capable of hurting this much. But I guess that’s just another lesson for me.

I got on my second flight and made a small, menial comment to the gentleman seated in the window seat next to me. And this random stranger started talking to me and told me that I really didn’t look okay and that I looked like things were a bit much for me. I didn’t tell him anything about my history or what’s going on in my life or how it feels like everything has fallen apart. Because, really, no one cares about my shit but me. But this gentleman spent the next few hours on the flight talking to me about things that he has learned in his life about how to deal with life. He went through a bunch of meditation techniques and forced me to remember that day I went to visit my family in the land of sun and how I had a perfect day. They cooked this amazing meal and we had dinner on the back patio next to the pool while the sun set across the horizon. He put me back on the climbing wall and helped me remember how everything goes away on the wall and you can’t think of anything except the wall. That everything just goes away. He talked to me about the food and atmosphere in the place I’m travelling to because his uncle lives there and he spent a lot of his happy youth there.

This guy who didn’t know me, would never hear from me or see me or interact with me again, saw what bad shape I was in and did something amazing. He helped me out. And that really made me unbelievably thankful for the random people out there who are human and help.

There have been so many people in the last several months who have just offered a hand every now and then to help pull me a little bit at a time out of the quicksand that I’m stuck in. The load I carry is still too heavy for me to bear, but people keep helping me out. And I can’t ever express how thankful I am for all those random people who I’ve never met and will never interact with again that are willing to care. I don’t know if I’m ever thought of by anyone and I don’t know if I matter to others. But I do know that others matter to me and I am thankful for all those things and people in my life.

My dreams may be destroyed right now, but I can and will build towards success. I’ll go and have adventures and force myself to keep putting one foot forward. While I could wish with all my heart that things with someone amazing would work out, I can’t keep making the same mistakes. I can be thankful for all the people who have been there for me in every capacity imaginable and I most definitely can get back on the wall and do the best I can.

So if you’re out there, thank you. You’ve made a difference to me. I know that my words aren’t seen by the one I hurt the most. And I guess even if my words were seen, they would be disregarded and seen as not worthwhile. And that’s okay, too.

My life is pretty awesome. I’m fantastic and awesome. And my life will only get better. So thank you. You matter to me, whoever you are, wherever you are. Thank you for being there and for reading what I have to say.

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About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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