Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Another episode of One Tree Hill, another set of feelings to feel. Haley’s mum passed away from the same cancer my mum had, so obviously it brought back an old batch of feelz I usually set aside for certain times of the year.
I’m not going to say to stop feeling sorry for yourself. I’m going to say to limit feeling sorry for yourself. I’ll tell you to stop. Stop what you’re doing and look out into the world. Watch every single person that walks past you.
Go to a coffee shop, sit by the bar with the glass window and look out at all the people running to catch a train. All the girls with one too many shopping bags. All the couples too in love to care. Then you’ll see it — a bit of yourself — in everyone. And somehow, sitting alone in a coffee shop had never felt so good.
You can watch all these people and make up stories for each one. That woman in her business clothes who can run a little too well in heels, running after a taxi, running after her work, running from her mind. She throws herself into her work because she doesn’t want to face what life is throwing at her. She’s just hanging by a thread.
That little kid who’s laughing with the old man, the old man watching in wonder at the pure innocence and happiness in his grandchild. You look a little closer at the man’s face, whose heart is breaking at not being able to see his grandbaby grow up, the man whose been told he only has months to live.
The couple totally and completely in love. Still in their honeymoon phase, before they know everything about each other, before they’ve learnt the bad things; only the good. They have spent their past few weeks in isolation, getting lost in one another, slowly letting themselves fall for each other. Feeling things they had never felt before, feeling things they had blocked out for a long time. The girl only holding back a little, not quite letting her wall get broken down, because she’s still hurt from her trust being broken last time.
The young woman with a brand new puppy, trying to replace a love she lost some time ago.
The man whose just lost his child, the child whose just lost their mum, the wife whose just lost her husband, the sisters who just put down their dog.
I’m all for crying, for feeling your feelings, for not blocking yourself out. But stop. Stare. Listen. And realise. You are not alone, and you do not suffer alone. Feel sorry for yourself. But not only yourself. You are not the only one struggling. You are not the only one who has lost a friend, a parent, a sibling, a pet.
Don’t forget about your pain. But don’t forget about others’ pain, either.