We all have that moment in a just not-so-good day where we have had our fill. Crying from frustration (my personal go to), blatantly throwing your hands up and saying "screw it", or resorting to other exasperating notions of giving up.
Then there are those other days. When you feel like everything and everyone is just against you. Your world feels as though it has just gone down the gutter - Starbucks just so happens to be out of your favorite croissant, you haven't been able to find your charger and your phone is on fifteen percent - shit. What is the only logical form of coping?
A big fat pity party. For your dang self.
A pity party is exactly what I was having for myself, on this particular day. The pressure of working enough hours, classes, internship, and just life was getting to me. I walked my bitter self into the neighborhood Walmart in search of some ice cream. Because, duh, ice cream cures anything.
As I was walking, I noticed the young man who had just started working there a couple weeks prior. He was exiting the building, walking opposite of me in his bright florescent vest, carrying a book bag, and listening to music from his headphones as he swayed back and forth. This particular young man, had some intellectually and developmental disabilities, who appeared to be around his late 20's.
I went in, grabbed some Ben & Jerrys and was on my way to my car.
The young man, who was walking out a few paces ahead of me, was listening to his headphones and seemingly skipping toward the bus stop. As I was walking past him, another older gentleman stepped out of his car and yelled out his name and said, "You working here now?!"
The brightest smile spread across the young man's face as he said "Yes I am. I have been here for a couple weeks now! I get carts and roll them back over there," he pointed toward the entrance.
With a slight stutter, he continued. "I'm making my own money now! Everyone I work with is nice to me and I am so happy!" he exclaimed.
The older gentleman hugged him, having obviously known him previously, and let him know how proud he was. The young man continued to express his happiness to have a part-time job at the neighborhood Walmart.
"And mom even let's me ride the bus by myself." He proudly let the older gentleman know.
With this, they said their goodbye's and as I was getting into my car, I watched the young man walk toward the bus stop with the same bright smile. Once getting to the bus stop, he stood and rocked side to side to the music playing from his headphones, with the same bright smile
As I sat there, instant tears slid down my cheeks. I'm talking uncontrollable, need to call my mom type tears. So... obviously, I did just that.
I persisted to tell my mother about this seemingly insignificant incident. As she listened to me blubber, I walked her through my nosy encounter. Quickly, it hit me why I was crying like a baby.
I felt guilt! Here was this young man who was happy to just be putting carts up and riding the bus by himself. And here I was, throwing this pathetic pity party with Ben and Jerry, because I just have too much on my plate? Problems that seemed so big just fifteen minutes ago seemed so minor and pathetic now.
The only thoughts that were going through my mind at this point were: at least I have a car that I can drive from point A to point B. At least, I have a job. At least, I have the opportunity to even further my education.
Even more so than that, here was this undeniably strong young man, who despite what life has dealt him from birth, has evidently persisted to try time and time again. This young man is now independently riding the bus to and from his job, that he is proud of.
Corny or not, which ever way you take it, I feel as though God, the Universe - whatever you believe in - played this out perfectly and individually for me. In a time where I felt I couldn't go anymore, I found out I sure as hell had no excuses.
We all need that time to just pity ourselves. But it's also imperative to remember to stay humble. As cliche or overplayed as it may be, it could be worse.
I can only ask that anyone who takes the time to read this, the next time you find that everything is just too much, take that moment, that hour, or that night to let it all out. Cry, just lay in your bed, binge watch Netflix, do nothing at all, go see a movie - whatever it is that relaxes you. Then wake up, put your big girl/boy pants on, and keep going. The best way to get through a stressful time, is to stay focused and see the end result or goal.
I suppose this is just my way of publicly thanking this young man. Thanking him for unknowingly putting me in my place and reminding me why it's better to to keep pushing than to give up, despite what each of us are dealt in this life.