No Longer In A Space of Chase

I live in New York City. Tonight through a series of events I found myself sitting in a McDonalds near Broadway and 181st street. As I surveyed the environment deciding where to sit I was drawn to a table that already had someone’s belongings on it. It was near the back of the restaurant where there would be no draft from the wind. I walked towards the front of the restaurant and I couldn’t find anywhere to sit there either.

I decided to try my luck at the table I was drawn towards. I turned around and headed back towards the rear of the store. Luckily the person had come back. She was a woman whose name I would later come to learn was Suanna.

We exchanged small pleasantries. Hi how are you? We each asked.

Afterwards there was a pregnant pause. In the silence I looked her over. She had on a hoodie and a knitted hat. She was wearing one earring. She seemed tired without looking aged.

Finally the silence was broken. I’m playing a game she beamed. I need to know the capital of the UK in order to move to the next stage. We figured out the answer (London) and our conversation commenced.

“Do you come here everyday?” After I asked the question I could sense the shame washing over her. I listened as she explained that she was there to meet a friend. She never knew when he’d arrive but he was always there between 5-7 pm.

As she spoke I wondered about her life? What had landed her in a McDonalds in New York City? How many heartbreaks had she endured. And when had she decided that she wouldn’t endure anymore?

I began to feel compassion for all women. I reflected back on how just 20 minutes ago I myself had written a farewell email to a person whom I’d loved but never dated.

The irony wasn’t lost on me that I myself was one severe heartbreak away from passing my time away in a McDonalds too.

Ten minutes after the start of our conversation I said goodbye to Suanna. I left her with the remaining of my large fry and a well wish to have a better night.

As much as I wanted to, I knew that I couldn’t save her.

So many of us women are like that. We let go of ourselves. We start to wear the hoodies and the knitted hats that are meer coverings for the deep pains that we harbor inside.

We don’t talk about it enough. Quite frankly there are too many Suannas in the world.

There are too many Suannas in the world

Once I was back on the train heading to Brooklyn I thought of myself.

I’m not perfect and I tend to seek solace in the wrong places. I thought of Suanna. I thought of how many metaphorical friends I sat in my spritual McDonalds waiting to show up for me. I thought of the ways in which they had not.

I made a decision in that moment to leave the space of chase before like Suanna I left myself behind in search of what the world won’t provide.

I won’t pretend to know what that looks like. But I know that I deserve a chance. We all do.

If you’re a woman and you’re reading this I invite you to choose yourself. Make the tough choices that bring you healing.

As the saying goes joy comes in the mourning. We have to feel to heal. Let’s do the work.

As always do what brings you joy. Live your best life and thanks for stopping by.

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