Saturday morning has arrived!
I can finally stop, and reflect upon my week. That reflection looks like a film in fast forward – everything a blur and hurriedly moving from one moment to the next…. except for 2 big stills. 2 big stills that are exaggerated moments in time, that had a profound impact upon me. Let me tell you about them.
Many coffee shops now give people the opportunity to buy a suspended coffee, for someone that may need a warm for the day, and don’t have the money to buy their own. They are able to come in, ask if there are any available, and sit down with a steaming mug of their choice, to join ‘normal’ society for a few minutes at least. I knew that this existed, but had never seen it ‘in real life’ – as sheltered as that may sound, until this week.
Sitting alone, I saw this chap shyly shuffle towards me with his coffee in hand. Trousers held up by string, a big shaggy beard, milk bottle type glasses, dirty hands and face. He signalled if he could join me and I didn’t hesitate. After exchanging a few words, him peering sideways at me, the moment he made eye contact jerking his head to look away, I offered to buy him a sandwich or anything that he wanted. He declined, and we accepted that we would sit in silence. All be it a fairly content one.
A long day at work ahead of me, I stood in line to buy a coffee before my first morning meeting kicked off. Fair to say pretty wrapped up in ‘me’. Then I noticed a girl at the front of the queue, waiting for her coffee. My first thoughts were ‘poor girl’, rapidly followed with a realisation of how condescending I was being – and not poor girl at all.
It was replaced with awe of her bravery, courage, determination not to be enveloped by the aesthetically obsessed world we live in and get on with life. One half of her face was ‘perfect’, and the other severely misshapen. I believe it was caused by Elephantitis. She stood waiting for her coffee, in a very fashion driven part of London, and was getting on with life. Not hiding or avoiding places. She was embracing what must be a very hard existence, where so many people judge on appearance… and disregard your actual soul.
Why am I telling you about this? We all have moments like this all the time right? Wrong.
We all see this all the time yes. Do we take a moment to allow it to have any impact? I would suggest not. At times, I’m certainly guilty of that. When a lady 2 tables along from me had finished her coffee, she caught my attention and gestured for me to move – pulling a bit of a disgusted face, like you do when something smells bad, and pointing towards the old man. She was seeing him yes, she certainly wasn’t embracing that moment and allowing any form of reflection.
That man had arrived in front of me at my table, when I was enveloped with nerves and anxiety, desperately trying to gain composure and focus for the task that I had next in my day. That task was/is to dictate the next chapter of my life, and I was pretty wrapped up in that. But that moment gave me clarity, all of a sudden I realised that actually, my life is pretty amazing. And should ‘the task’ not go well, things are pretty good right now.
One step further than that, rather than just allowing me to acknowledge the real positives that I have, I suddenly had the focus and composure to face it head on. It made me stronger. And by the way, that task went pretty well in the end.
That girl in the coffee shop, hit me slap bang between my eyes, that I have my health. Yes there have been a couple of questions marks with it of late, that’s the whole reason I started writing this blog. Those question marks look like they are going to exist for a while, and I’m finding my ‘new normal’. But things could be a whole lot worse and are getting better and better.
If I’m honest…I have been obsessing about the fact that I have lost every scrap of fitness that I had. I’m out of puff… and squidgy. Yes ladies and gentleman… it really is that bad. Ive gone up a dress size…. I need to start again with getting a level of fitness, and it won’t happen overnight. Disaster!!
Although tongue in cheek right now, what has been truly upsetting me, is that I have worked so hard to achieve in fitness over the past 2 or 3 years. Career wise I have reached a great point that has taken a decade to get to… and in one moment of slurring words and drooping face… I was hit with a diagnosis involving my brain… and poof!! Fitness gone and career slowed down.
Now, I realise that it has been a hiccup. Yes a frustrating one, but who knows – it could open doors – its already allowing me to embrace me for me and my life for all its positives. It’s challenged me, wouldn’t life be boring without that.
I’m a little ashamed, but I’m not trying to shame you.
Those moments came along in my life and provided resonating clarity. You may be that girl in the coffee shop, or you may be me.
But I guarantee that whoever you are, no matter what your challenge… the way you live your life right now is providing clarity and inspiration for someone else.
Take a moment to think on that.