“Won’t that hurt your shoulder?”
“I knew you didn’t get lunch today, so would you like me to grab you Pad Thai since I am here already?”
“I saw this song and thought you might like it.”
“I can come over and help with the housework so we can spend time together. I know you are busy.”
“I’m sending a burger your way right now.”
“Maybe I can take the kids for a bit tonight so you can have some time to get things done.”
“Would you like to steal a moment and look at the moon tonight?”
“I was thinking about you and I am at Starbucks. What should I grab you?”
“Lets run barefoot in the snow and appreciate the cold.”
“I saw that this artist is playing and remembered your friend liked him. Maybe you could tell her.”
“Since our kids go to the same school, I can just take her in the mornings.”
“I can take care of your cat while you are gone.”
“You should really go to bed. I can bring over some food for your lunch tomorrow.”
“I will grab some beers and head your way so we can catch up tonight.”
“Let me grab your bag for you since you aren’t supposed to carry anything.”
“Come here and give me a hug.”
I teared up after a kind word from someone and they seemed shocked as they observed that I responded to small courtesies like I hadn’t experienced them much before.
The truth is, I have experienced a million and one little courtesies and thoughtful moments, just in the past six months. Even more over the last few years, big and small. I have incredible, beautiful people in my world and I am so grateful for that. (Yes, I know a lot of the above examples are about food, but… ya know, it’s my love language.)
My life wasn’t always this way.
For a long time I believed I was the invisible girl, put on this earth to serve others quietly and never be noticed, because being noticed meant being hurt. Growing up, I learned to be quiet. I learned that I shouldn’t take up space. I learned that using my voice meant being harassed or far worse. I learned that disappearing was the easiest way and the safest way. I learned that I did not matter and my needs were a burden.
So, when people see me, when they think of me enough to do those “little things,” it absolutely means the world to me. I still have a hard time asking for help and I probably do a lot more than I should on my own, but when someone offers to go out of their way or put my comfort before theirs, I hope I NEVER stop appreciating that.
Every one of the above sentences brought tears to my eyes. Overwhelmed with gratitude for a friendship, a kind soul, who shows me that I matter. The past few years, the moments have been sprinkled all through my life like glitter highlights that never go away.
There are days when I still fight the demons that say I should disappear, when I feel like being unnoticed is always going to be better because I am afraid that somehow it’s all a trick and the people in my life will eventually see the things that the people I left behind seemed to see.
But when those fears start screaming, when I feel the most like I shouldn’t matter, those are always the days that someone comes along and quietly reassures me with a small “I see you and I’m still here” moment. I have chosen to build my life on gratitude for those little things, because they all add up to one damn good life.
So, to my lovely friends, the ones who spoke the words above or others similar, please know that I appreciate you. You mean the world to me and I am so grateful we are still here, walking each other home.