Sometimes the blues get the best of us; sometimes we can shake them; and, sometimes, we think we’ve shaken them. But, sometimes something moves you and breaks through the funk, making you realize that you really hadn’t quite shaken them. And, sometimes, reaching out to someone else can be just the thing…and it doesn’t have to be a huge gesture.
I was for a while fighting what I call a low-grade funk — you know the kind: you just don’t quite feel up to doing some of the things you normally enjoy doing; not a huge, debilitating depression, but a persistent sense of the ‘mehs’ — and was finally feeling more like myself. The camera came back out of the bag more often, a good trip to visit the family, I looked forward to a night out now and then with friends, and I was looking forward to each walk and drive: they were fun again and not so much of a chore. Good stuff really.
But, this morning, things got a little better, and in a very unexpected way. While sitting on the steps of a nearby church, finishing a chat with the family on my cell, two guys stopped at the corner across the way. One had a suitcase; the other did not. The lingered over a long and very sweet good-bye, and the one with the suitcase headed away toward the train station. By this time, I was on my way back toward my place and I passed the poor young guy who was left behind. He had tears in his eyes and as I reached out a hand to pat his shoulder or something and tell him I understood and was sorry he had to say good-bye, he surprised me and gave me a big sweaty (it’s still hot in Philadelphia) hug while I did this. As we separated, he said he knew he’d see his boyfriend again soon, and thanked me for stopping to say something…and headed off with his yoga mat in tow.
What I didn’t realize until I left him, though, was that I owed him a huge thanks too. His spontaneous reaction to my small gesture — reaching out for a hug from a complete stranger — had moved me in a way that less-spontaneous hugs from family and friends couldn’t. The element of surprise in this exchange of compassion and affection touched me and made me feel lighter and happier in the most unexpected way.
So, to the guy with the yoga mat, thank you. And, I’m very glad you’ll see your boyfriend again soon — he’s lucky to have you.