Prompt: What surprised you the most this year?
How kind strangers can be.
I'm sure I could come up something deep and prophetic about how I surprised myself. But in this instance, I was moved by the kindness of a few girls I barely knew as I struggled through my biggest crisis ever.
The dead horse I keep beating is the loss of my job this year. But it hangs over me like a dark spot on the first half of my year. It was the first time I'd ever left a job that wasn't by my own choice, and as I've mentioned, I was woefully unprepared for it.
I started to write a lot of detail about how two women on my trip really defined how I started to heal after it. But then I deleted it and decided to take a less-is-more approach.
There were two moments in the trip where I felt the most emotional about the situation. The first was when I found out about the lay-off. The second was when I had a panic attack on the plane about what happens when the plane lands (answer: find a job). Two different women, women I couldn't possibly have known well enough, were caught with me in those moments. And instead of running away or offering placating statements and then finding someone to actually help, they both jumped in without hesitation. They opened their own wounds to offer support of mine. Their hearts bled with mine. I would not possibly know how to offer support to someone one week into our relationship - and yet somehow they did, with great success. I thanked them as best I could, but when you live on opposite coasts, you can't really make it up to them, either.
Speaking as an introvert, who sometimes needs people despite my best efforts, the idea of reaching out to a near stranger in times like that is hard for me to relate to. I can honestly say that whatever my best intentions might be, I don't know that I would have been able to reach out to me, were I in their situations. That's the most selfish, simple explanation - I am surprised by it because I would not have been capable of the same response. I needed someone in those moments (even if I didn't know it); but they knew it, and they both answered the call without pause.