HOLY SMOKES!? Has it really been 10 days since I’ve written!? That’s insane!!! I swore to myself that when I started this blog, I’d be much more vigilant about updating it. I’ve got tons of random adventures to post, so not to worry, there will be plenty of posts to come… tonight however, my heart is so full(as cheesy as that sounds).
As anyone who knows me can vouch, I can pretty much talk to ANYONE. I meet the most random people wherever I go. People ask me all the time where they know me from and I KNOW I’ve never seen them before in my life. I suppose I just have a familiar face. Tonight I met a friend of mine at Barnes and Noble for some good conversation about life for a little while. He left and I stayed and drank some chai tea and read a little more from Deepak Chopra. I found a few other books that piqued my interest and bought them both, then finally gave in to those damned cashiers always asking me to become a Barnes and Noble member! I left the store and planned to just go home. On the way home I pass the freeway entrance/exit. ALWAYS there are homeless people there with the inevitable sob story scribbled on a piece of cardboard.
For some reason tonight was different for me. As I drove by I wondered what this man’s story was. Why, at 10pm he would be standing out there begging instead of sleeping off the alcohol or drugs? I’m a skeptic. I always have been. I’m paranoid that people are lying to me or trying to screw me over. As of late, I’m especially paranoid. Tonight one of the books I purchased was on compassion. How the human mind is really wired to react to kindness and love. I feel like I’ve always been a loving human being, but I know am sometimes too quick to judge and don’t have quite the amount of patience or compassion I’d like to. I’m so excited to start reading this book(along with this and this… the latter the author herself sent me and autographed it for my birthday!!!)
Anyway, back to my new friend JJ. I flipped around and pulled into a parking lot and just asked him if he wanted some dinner. He met me at Wendy’s and ordered some food and we sat and talked for about an hour while he ate. Shockingly, I found a few things in common with this guy. He’s 30, has two kids right around my girls’ ages and for the most part, he’s just down on his luck. He has a metal plate in his face from a football accident, and has a blown out knee, which left him with a severe limp and unable to ride the bike he walks around with. After he finished his dinner, I offered to meet him down at a grocery store and buy him a couple things for the next few days. He was shocked, but quickly agreed. I waited about 10 minutes while he walked down and we spent about 30 minutes walking the aisles and getting him some basic groceries. I then followed him to his “home” underneath a bridge pass not too far from my house. I learned so much from this sweet man tonight, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity I had to help someone else. He was so kind and gentle and just said he’s doing the best he can to get out of the situation. He lost his wallet about a month ago and has tried to get some form of ID for the last 3 or 4 weeks. Of course, the process you have to follow when you’ve lost your birth certificate, ID, and social security card is not easy. He promised me that he’d get going on it tomorrow morning and get to the social security office and hopefully find a job as soon as he had some ID.
I’m probably the most gullible person in the world for believing everything he told me, but I have no other choice but to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. He seemed completely genuine, swore to me he is not into drugs other than Lortab for his knee, and is trying to quit smoking. I spent $40 tonight on his dinner and groceries, and that was probably the best $40 I’ve spent in a long time. He was incredibly grateful and continued to ask me if there was anything he could do to work it all off. I assured him there was nothing to do but pay it forward.
On the way home from meeting JJ, I passed a woman. By this time is was about 11:30pm. She was walking by herself and something struck me to just ask her if she needed a ride. She agreed and when she told me where she was going I was floored! Her destination was about 5 miles away and the buses had stopped running that direction. It took me about 10 minutes to drive her there, and she was incredibly thankful as well. I’m pretty sure she was probably using at the very least meth, but she was kind and said how thankful she was for an angel helping her to get to her friend’s house safely. She recently came back to UT but will be leaving again soon because her ex boyfriend, who tried to stab her to death, is getting out of jail in the next year.
It’s so interesting and heartbreaking to me the trials people go through in life. While my struggles sometimes seem unbearable, I am once again reminded that they are small and insignificant to what others have been dealt. I will gladly take my trials and the challenges that come with them. I still have a roof over my head, there is no abuse that I can’t control or escape. I don’t have anyone trying to murder me or threatening my life. I am able to keep my children relatively safe, and when I find out that their safety has been compromised, I’m able to take whatever measures needed to keep them safe.
Tonight I will go to bed so thankful for the life that I have. I love that feeling. I love being reminded how human I am and how quickly it all can be taken away. I think it keeps things in perspective.
More later this week on my adventures in Southern UT and Las Vegas! =) (oh yes… and if you’re visiting me here, please feel free to leave a comment, and/or subscribe to get my posts in your email!)