Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cold Hands

Walking around the busy streets of New York City on my Senior trip, I came to a realization. My hands were cold. It was early May, and the nights got a little brisk. Not the appropriate season to carry around mittens or gloves, my hands were sentenced to endure the cold alone. The part of this observation that stuck with me was that not everybody's hands had to feel this way. I watched with an unwanted jealousy as the hands of my friends and classmates found their way into the clasp of another. There was nobody to hold my hand. My hands would stay cold.

There is just something so desirable about holding hands. It is a promise that where you walk, I'll walk. When you stop, I'll stop. When you're cold, I'll keep you warm. I'll be there. With you, for you.

It is so easy to lose myself in this tragic realization. There is nobody to hold my hand. My hands will stay cold. And when I think about this, it is all I can think about. My hands are cold and there is nobody to make them warm. Why me? Poor me.

My hands have been cold for 20 years. Makes me wonder sometimes if this is a permanent condition. Maybe I have one of those circulation diseases that won't allow your hands to be warm. Or maybe... maybe it is to make me stronger. To show myself that I am enough and able on my own. Teaches me how to walk around this cold and lonely world with two hands free. Free to explore, to reach, to climb, to live. I have learned to buy a delicious "caramel high rise" from Caribou - the perfect amount of heat to my fingers. I have learned to throw an adorable pair of mittens in my purse -- even in May. I have learned to throw my hands in the air and dance with the breeze.

Someday, (oh that word "someday") someone may want to hold my hand. The thought of it makes me feel giggly and girly. But, all I have to say is that he better be prepared to let me go every now and then... I have learned to love having two hands a little bit cold.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Own Story

I side with the abundance of people who list reading as one of their favorite hobbies. Is it to escape the monotony of our own lives? Is it to be inspired, to cry, to laugh, to be someone else? I love it while I'm reading... but as soon as I turn the last page... I am overwhelmed with a terrible sense of disappointment and let down. Life as I have been experiencing it... through someone else's words... is over. How do I pick myself up and start again? I guess I better quick find another book to fill that void. So the process continues. Living through the story of another.

Lately, I've been asking myself something new. Why not live and love my own story? Why not savor every word of the story of self? This type of thinking takes work. You have to look past the perspective that there is nothing noteworthy about your "average day." We need to stop thinking that way. We have been given TODAY. Search it, live it, find in it the story that is waiting to be told and appreciated.

Don't let your own story rest abandoned on the shelf. Take it out, skim through the pages already written. Let yourself laugh, cry, cringe, blush. Find the inspiration in your own story. Embellish it by living to the fullest. If you don't like the way the chapter is unfolding, direct it elsewhere. Take a turn. Or, if you can't... hold yourself strong and wait for the next chapter that is guaranteed to come.

Your life is beautiful and your story is worthy of being told. Give it a chance. And though there are disappointments, they are yours to overcome... and there will always be another word, another chapter, another day.