The title of this post is slightly vague, so I apologize in advance for that. But I will explain to you what it means. I started this blog mostly to talk about paleo and fitness, but I also wanted to talk about some interesting and inspirational things I see (assuming most of those things would happen at work). Since starting the blog I’ve struggled a bit with how much I should talk about work. I am not completely convinced I should reveal what my job is, and that is becoming especially important since I am starting to get more and more followers that don’t personally know me. So instead of talking mainly about work stuff, I figure I will tell some stories from every day life… until I figure out how to talk about crazy work stories without revealing too much! I hope that makes sense to y’all.
-Not really. But I wish it was-
The title of this post basically describes a portion of my thought process after almost running a woman over in my car the other day. I was going about 50 km/hour and was almost at work, around 730 pm. The skies were clear and the roads were dry (I wish it was a dark and stormy night. That would sound way better right?). So I was about 30 feet from an intersection, driving in the right hand/outside lane, and my light was solid green. And then out of nowhere, a woman steps out onto the road from behind a car that was parked on the right hand curb. She did this as I was about 10 to 15 feet away from her. Since I was in the outside lane, she only had to take 1 step before she was directly in front of my car. So obviously I slammed on my breaks and managed to stop about 6 inches from her left leg. I also managed to unleash a massive horn-honking barrage as I was stopping. Guess what this lady did. NOTHING. She didn’t even look at me, and didn’t break stride! So I rolled down my window and yelled “what the fuck are you doing?!?” and she gave me a quick little glance, with ZERO expression on her face. And then she just sauntered across the road without a care in the world. This lady was almost run over… and not only did she look like she couldn’t possibly care less, but when she looked at me she actually appeared to be bored.
-Kitty doesn’t care how his owner is feeling-
So I started thinking about what would make someone behave in that way. Perhaps she was on drugs or booze and just didn’t have the mental capacity to comprehend what had just occurred? It was a possibility, but I have dealt with one or two intoxicated people in my life, and she appeared to be stone sober. She wasn’t stumbling and her steps were steady and even… and her face just looked normal. There was also the possibility that she was homeless. In my experience with the homeless population, they don’t care if they get pinched for jaywalking so they’ll cross the street anywhere. And they usually don’t look for cars either. This woman didn’t really look like a typical homeless person… but if I had to judge based on how she crossed the street, then I would bet that she was homeless. Terrible street-crossing skills!
So after considering the more obvious answers to my question “why the hell did she do that?”, I started to think deeper. Maybe she wanted to scare me. Maybe she was run over by a car years ago, and she gets her revenge by routinely freaking out drivers by jumping out into the road. Maybe I was a surrogate for someone who ruined her life.
Or maybe she just doesn’t care anymore. Perhaps something terrible happened to her and she had been considering suicide for a while now. Maybe it was a trial run, or an actual attempt. Maybe that blank, empty look she gave me was really just a look of disappointment because her attempt failed. Was she just lucky that the car she picked was being driven by someone who was actually paying attention? Hell, maybe I even saved her life by causing her to think again about her decision. Any of these things are possibilities. Despite all of my speculation, the part of the story that stuck with me was the fact that she just looked like she didn’t give a shit about anything at all, let alone being hit by a car. How she could possibly come so close to being seriously injured, and not bat an eyelash? What made her life so terrible that the idea of losing it in a split second was not even remotely disturbing? I just can’t imagine how it must feel to be in such a dark place, that losing your life becomes more appealing than continuing to live. There had to be someone who cared about this woman. And even if there was no one, she had to at least have someone or something that SHE cared about. Or perhaps somehow, everything was taken away from her. Maybe there was nothing left to care about, and this was the result. I know that these conclusions seem drastic, but if any of them were true it would not surprise me.
So after this happened, I started thinking about how easily life can spiral downwards. Bad things tend to compound. We have all been there on one level or another. Sometimes it’s so bad that you just want to say “screw it” and walk away from all of your responsibilities. To me, it seemed like that was exactly what happened to this woman. And I don’t ever want that to happen to me (or you!). So this is the conclusion I came to when I thought about how to never fall into the mindset of that woman: find something to be passionate about. To me, there was no emotion in her eyes, which is worse than sadness in my opinion. At least if you are sad, you are sad about something. But she was completely emotionless. She had no passion. She cared about nothing. And that is dangerous. So find something to be passionate about! Even in the darkest of times, when you don’t want to deal with anything requiring any amount of effort or responsibility, you can still rely on that one thing you are passionate about to keep you afloat.
I’m talking about something that is reliable… something that is always there… and never changes. For me, there are a few things I rely on to keep me going when I am feeling down. My guitar, the gym, my journal, my bible, and my TV are all on the list. These are things that are always going to be there, and for the most part will never change. There is something extremely therapeutic and calming about routine and predictability. I know that an A-minor chord will always sound the same, and it will always calm me down.
By the way, I am talking about “non people” things. Obviously Amanda gets me through stuff more than anything else possibly could. But the problem is that despite how well someone knows you and understands you, sometimes people are not enough. You can’t always put the entire weight of your problems on someone else’s shoulders.
Anyways, my point is that we all need things in life that keep us happy. Maybe if that woman had some blueberry tea and a good book at home, she wouldn’t have been so affected by the negative things in her life. This world constantly barrages us with setbacks and roadblocks and heartbreak… and if we don’t fight back by being passionate and finding things (and people) to love, then we will let the darkness win. Tell me what you are passionate about! What lifts you up when you’ve had a bad day?
“Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them”