I was walking down Fifth Avenue the other day. It was about 30 degrees and I was walking to the beat of my theme music playing in my head. I was thinking about work and the night before. PAUSE ~ I have had conversations, run ins, emails and phone calls from my past like you would not believe, but that is another story for another day! PLAY ~ The ground was wet, slushy and very dirty. It’s been snowing a lot in the Northeast. I stepped up on the curb and look down only to make sure I did not step in the puddle. Three more steps and I moved slightly to the right because I noticed something next to the corner garbage can, but did realize it was a woman until she adjusted her cover. Yes, there on Fifth Avenue and 56th Street, just steps away from Henri Bendel, blocks away from Prada, Bottega Veneta, and Saks, a woman was balled up on the ground, huddled under a gray blanket. I had literally walked about five steps before it hit me. I immediately slowed my pace and reached in my bag. I found my wallet and pulled out a few dollars. I turned and started to walk back towards her. PAUSE ~ I am from NY! So before I got up on her, I made sure my wallet was secured in my bag. It is really sad that in the midst of attempting to help, my jaded NY ways caused me to look around and confirm that she didn’t have a partner scheming on the side; waiting to grab my bag as she distracted me. PLAY~ The coast was clear. I walked over and slipped the money in her cup. Her hands had not seen water in a long time. They were swollen. She barely looked at me when I put the money in the cup. She was present, but she wasn’t really there. Yes, she may have had a bout with drugs or maybe she was ill. I don’t know.
What I do know is that it was too cold for anyone to be sitting on the slushy ground with their head resting against a garbage can. I immediately thought about the recent worries of my life… Weight, men who leave, those who want to come back, work, bills, etc. “Really?!?! Those are your worries?” I thought to myself. I didn’t feel ungrateful; it was just a reality check for me. I have a really wonderful, exceptional life! Big or small, single or in a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I believe I have the right to feel and have emotions about MY life. This is the life that God blessed me with and I can live it and experience all emotions; good, bad, sad, indifferent. And I should not feel guilty about my emotions, but she was a reality check!
A moment of clarity… I am not in a relationship because I am not supposed to be at this time. Had I settled for some of my past relations, I just might be miserable and married. Standing over a stove, crying, cooking dinner for my kids and wishing my husband paid as much attention to me as he does everything else. Or looking into the eyes of a man who doesn’t make me happy wishing I had the courage to tell him. I know a few happily married people. I know a few people who are in relationships that they do not want to be in, but they are so caught up in what society says; they stay, grin and deal with it. I know people who are unhappily married, but front to the world everyday. I mean, they absolutely despise their mates. Then there are those who tolerate their mates, but rely on relations with others to get them through. I know couples that are happily married, but will never know the joys of having kids. I know people who are living in the body they’ve always wanted, but cannot find a job and have no idea where the next check is coming from. I know little girls who have never met there fathers. I know little boys who have lost both parents to drugs. There are intelligent teenagers who have graduated high school and have a full scholarship to college, but cannot attend because they have to stay home and take care of their sibling because their parents simply cannot. And yes, let us not forget, I just put money in a cup that was being held by a woman sitting on a cold, grimy ground under a blanket on Fifth Avenue.
This is life people! We all have problems. A really special person in my life told me once, “If you gathered everyone you know and they put their problems in a hat; you would take yours back immediately.” I will never forget that. Yes, we all have our own lives to live with our own problems. You take yours… And please, give me mine! I’ll deal with them… Me and God!
Stay up folks…