Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.
I truly believe that there is still shine in us even during our darkest hours. I know this because I watched my grandma die. It was both one of the most horrible experiences in my entire life and oddly one of the most intimate moments that I had shared with her and as a family.
Between slipping in and out of this world, she sang songs that streamed from a small CD player. All of her favourites like Frank Sinatra and, and, and damn whomever it was that burned Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. We had to sing that song for her at least a dozen times.
I am still haunted by the tune that caressed our brokenness in the moments of silence.
She joked about old stories of skipping out of school, her kids paper macheing the freshly painted pink bedroom, and falling in love with my Bubba who had stalked her walking home one night.
Once she had fallen into what we thought was the final stretch, she shocked us all when she had sprung up for air. When she realized she was still with us she moaned, “F**k me!” and flopped back down on her pillow. I never laughed so hard at someone dying.
Her body suffered through each stage yet she had this shine about her and never not once let cancer or death take it from her.
I often watch the people that sit in my psychiatrist’s office out the corners of my eyes.
I don’t know what they’re specifically there for but I can sense the pain in the way their world immediately rests like a thousand pounds over their rolled shoulders when they take a seat.
I can see the way they wring their worry in between their fingertips or twist it in tattered tissues or sling their leg over the other and kick it wildly out from under them – over and over and over.
Some blindly flip through the pages of magazines without even reading – distract, distract, distract, flip, flip, flip.
Then there are the ones who shuffle in just barely lifting their feet off the floor. It’s as if you can almost see in person how cruel mental illness is as it tries to murder their shine.
But no screw you, that person says.
I made it to the doctor.
I’m coming to get better.
(At least that’s what I think they’re thinking)
I see shine in that person and in all of us sitting in that office. We might not feel it all the time but it’s HOPE that we hold (sometimes very loosely) as we walk through that door.
Hope that there is something more than feeling like life is like waking up and suffocating on the wrong side of the bed every single day.
It’s hope that we can be ourselves again.
And we are there.
We are still in there – that shine.
When I am sick, I tend to gravitate back to dark journals that I’ve written – like the journal entries when I was hospitalized. They were written on scraps of paper because the nurses confiscated my spiral notepad and then glued back into that notebook after discharge.
“It’s a danger to yourself” they told me. I had written an entire page about how ridiculous it was and listed all the things I could harm myself with from the window blinds to the corners of the closet doors and eating the possibly poisonous hospital plants. I know people would probably question why I would have kept such a horrible part of documented time in my life but these journals remind me of what I’ve been through.
And that I’ve overcome it.
That my shine is hella strong.
WE all are baby.
I don’t make resolutions. I choose words. Then I Pinterest the heck out of quotes related to the word. It makes me feel all fuzzy on the inside.
This year I chose “You were meant to SHINE.”
I want to remember that I’m still here even when I feel like I’m not.
That I am my own light.
That I can be someone else’s light – kindness, compassion, respect goes a long way when someone is in the dark.
I am awkward and weird and unique and smart and damn it…
I should be proud to shine.
If you’re down with resolutions, just remember this:
The year is long and therefore you have a lot of days to accomplish whatever it is you’re after.
You’re human and you make mistakes.
Allow yourself to make them.
Like eating cake and cookies and skipping the gym from time to time.
Hell, I haven’t been to a gym since 2003. My arteries scream “noooo!” every time I open a chip bag.
Be good to you.
And this song is my everything right meow: