Archive for February, 2019

If you show up with coffee, I’ll probably kiss you.

February 28, 2019 2 comments

The other week, I was having a conversation with a friend about wanting people to give back. This wasn’t about a particular malice. It wasn’t about expecting someone to read our mind. (Look, no one would want to read my mind. It’s a big old bag of weird up there. There’s already too much crazy with an onlooker.) No, it’s about actions over words, substance over show, the little (or big) gestures that carry a meaning that can’t always be put into words. Unquantifiable grace.

One of my biggest flaws is my remarkably relentless ability to get stuck in my own head. I tend to think too much, then then think more about then, and get all stuck in the whirlwind that is my ridiculous brain. Despite appearances, I can be wildly insecure. There’s a small part of me that is convinced that I’m annoying or weird or too much. Probably because through all of middle school, I felt weird, annoying, and too much. Don’t get me started on high school. That was basically the sunken place.

I try not to let the insecurity get louder than a nagging voice. But there are days when it does. There are days where a small slight can turn into proof that I’m clearly the biggest pain in the ass in the WORLD. And the truth is, 99% of the time, whatever that perceived slight is about — it’s not really about me. But, you know, asshole brain.

Anyone who has known me for a length of time probably knows that I’m giving. I give without being asked. I offer without hesitation. And I will, forever and always, fight your enemies — even if they’re nothing more than your demons. Not literal demons, because this isn’t Buffy and no one in their right mind would let me near holy water.

Back to that conversation with my friend: we both came to the same conclusion that someone showing that they care, without having to be asked, matters a lot. That the unasked for gestures tend to makes a person feel important and seen. Being seen by someone, for all our flaws and quibbles, is a hell of thing. It’s a kind of magic, like sunshine and a clear night sky full of bright stars — meaning, beautiful, all of its own. Something remarkable and honest to witness.

I’m often bad about asking for things. I mean, not like, “Pass the pepper” or whatever. But if I ask someone for something that involves their time, it feels like a big ask. Even if it’s really not. But if it is, whew, rest assured I probably sweat that out 30 times before breakfast.

Because I’ve asked for things and been hurt by the aftermath. Or people have offered things but repeatedly just…never followed through. This is not a Poor Me moment. It’s a art of life, that disappointment. It’s part of the humanity of our flaws. None of us are perfect, least of all me.

This life needs more unexpected kindness, unasked for kindness, gestures of love or affection that appear without fanfare. I often remind myself that life does not arrange itself like a grand, bewildering movie. But what if it did? Sometimes, not always. What if we did more surprise gestures and fierce acts of kindness? What if we just showed up with coffee, sent a silly selfie, or cooked a favorite meal? (Look, if you show up with coffee, I’ll probably kiss you. Definitely, I’ll definitely kiss you. Just sayin’.) What if we move the mountains we can move, just to show people we care?

I try to live my life like that, not that I’m always perfect at it. I have my moments and my moods. I occasionally will even hold a grudge. And I’ll never specifically ask anyone to do the same, to take words beyond what’s spoken and delve into action. But it’s always wonderful when someone does, steps up and shows up. It’s made a difference in my life, for sure.

Tomorrow is the first day of a new month. Lets stuff it full of kindness, sincerity, vulnerable grace, unguarded laughter, full-crinkle smiles, and unhindered love. Let’s put some magic back into this world, each day–just because we can. That’s my challenge to you: if you want to, be brave in your affections and attentions. I promise you, I will do the same.

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