We all know I hate the summer in the city. I feel as though I have made that abundantly clear through this blog and through my willingness to jump down the emotional drain when the temperatures rise.
The sad drain. The sad and confused drain.
...the lonely drain.
Jumping down drains is dumb...and draining.
When the summer began I was hopeful for the season and I fought against the yuck.
I could feel myself losing my battle and then a series of unfortunate events blew the lid off my ability to hold my composure.
And this week I lost it.
Now we are talking ugly girl crying and lots of sad girl music on repeat.
Guys, I am talking lots of sad girl music.
....I'm listening to sad girl music right now.
The culmination of my summer break down came to a head on Monday.
Everything went wrong.
I found myself at work trying to power through and hanging on by a very thin thread and as my night was winding down I turned around and my friend and co-worker Francisco was standing there.
Now let me tell you about this guy.
To put it simply...he's the best. His heart is so big, so beautiful and he's always helped me out by covering shifts for me when I have rehearsal or a show. This last part is a big deal because getting shifts covered last minute in a restaurant is like pulling teeth and when you work in a restaurant with a lack of actors its like pulling teeth from an old man who has no teeth to pull.
But he always has my back. And on Monday it was no different.
He knew how upset I was on Monday. The night came to a close. He left and I continued on through the rest of my shift.
And then all the sudden Francisico walks back in with flowers, hands them to me and says:
"Everything happens for a reason, Colleen. I believe that."
A simple and surprising kindness.
I cried. (contain your shock)
I was so moved by Francisico's kindness. He could never know how much I needed that. At that point, after a long weekend of sad news, heartbreak and confusion, I could have never imagined that Francisico's kindness would be just the hand I needed to help me climb out of my drain.
Kindness...it sure is powerful.
Kindness is simple but profound.
As I look at the purple flowers sitting in my vase, I am reminded how important it is to care for each other...to love each other...and to be kind to each other.
I think I don't like the summer because for some reason I get trapped in my own thoughts, my own struggles and I am not kind to myself, which inevitably results in me just focusing on all the negative aspects of life and love and kindness don't come as easily to me. I have a hard time getting out of that viscous cycle.
I started the summer with strangers showing me random acts of kindness. And then I lost my way and I fell down until a caring friend reached out a hand and offered me a simple kindness.
I look back on this weekend and I think about a friend back home who passed away Saturday and all I can think about is how much kindness he shared with anyone he met, how much love he gave to the world and all of us who were lucky to be his acquaintance, his friend or his fellow actor. And I feel inspired by the light that he still shines on the world.
I look back on Monday and I think of Francisico who took the time to give me a kindness and a wise reminder. And I am deeply thankful.
The summer isn't over yet and I am still climbing back up out of my drain. But now the climb isn't a struggle as much as it is a journey towards change. Climbing towards an existence that is less self centered and more...well, kind.
Kind to others. Kind to myself.
An existence of trusting that there is always someone walking right beside you. Whether it be a stranger, a coworker, or a friend.
We just have to choose to take in the kindness and let it pull us through.
And of course, return it whenever we can because after all...
Everything happens for a reason.