On Friday two weeks ago I was supposed to be on a plane to Australia, beginning my master’s degree and my new life 10,000 miles away. Instead, I was lying in an operating room in my hometown, having a necrotic bone removed from the ball of my right foot.
That said, the experience wasn't all about nature's bounty. Perhaps more importantly, it was about the pet owners who put on voices to express their dogs' supposed thoughts. It was about laughing at the tiny Shih Tzu attempting to mount my friend's Australian Shepherd, or the asshole beagle who made it his mission to pee in every single bowl of drinking water.
No one act of kindness will bring us peace on earth, and no one boxful of office supplies will cure your friend's depression. But the gift my friend gave me was more than just a Get Well Soon card in blue wrapping paper. It was a reminder that life is to be appreciated for what it is — even the temporary phases of transition.
When my non-depressed self comes back into my life as if nothing has happened, it feels disingenuous. She tries to connect with me by asking me playful questions like, “So, how’s the love life?” It’s a universal icebreaker, a way for her to learn something juicy about my life. But the appropriate response doesn’t exist for a person whose romantic undertakings have been abysmal. The dating pool is bleak enough to depress a normal person and dating while depressed is another enterprise altogether.
The January 21, 2017 March on Lansing marked my first experience protesting. I showed up without a sign, without a hat, and without a clue what to expect. I worried I'd feel out of place, that there'd be chanting and I wouldn't know the words, that I'd be questioned about my motives and wouldn't have a strong enough political education to know how to explain what I was doing there--none of that happened.
The first memory I have of stealing a word was when I was ten years old. It came from a brochure crammed in the pocket behind the driver's seat in a shuttle bus that was taking my family to a beachfront hotel. "Waves crash rhythmically upon the sandy shoreline," it advertised. I plucked the word from the page and I tucked the brochure back into its pocket.