be kind.


or what i really wanted to title this, “stop being a horrible person.”

after last saturday’s happenings, i basically ran to work as quick as i could today, with my head down to avoid any further run-ins. there were many people on the street this morning. it wasn’t foggy and beautiful. it just seemed dirty and stale – like friday night’s leftovers.

turn the corner. down four blocks. around the side of the building. in through the garage. down the elevator. up the stairs. unlock the door. i’m in.

phew! i made it to work without anyone saying a thing to me. i felt safe. i let my guard down.

around 8:30 a.m. i decided a coffee would make a perfect addition to the morning. i didn’t want to be gone too long, so the tim horton’s a block away was my target.

on my way back, coffee cup in hand, i saw a man on a bike approaching me, so i moved over on the sidewalk to leave him ample room. instead of accepting my gesture, he jumped the curb down to the road and shouted at me:

“i’m not the one who is fat and needs the extra room. maybe try eating a salad instead of doughnuts.”

i was stunned. i stood there as still as a statue as he rode off. and then i cried. i did everything i could to not cry while walking along 17th ave, but i did. i’m comforted to know i am not the first to do so, and i will not be the last. and i cried all the way back to work. only when i was in the comfort of the office did i let myself sob.

side note: i can’t remember the last time i had a doughnut; i’d love to eat a doughnut. salad on the other hand, had one yesterday. 

why would someone say that to a stranger? why say it at all, especially unprovoked? what mean and horrible spirit do you have that makes words like that fly out of your mouth?

i would never speak about anyone like that.

but wait, i do. i talk about myself like that.

this man said aloud just a few of the horribly mean things i say to myself every day. actually, compared to my own dialogue, he went pretty easy on me.

i guess the better question is: why do i expect more from a stranger than i do of myself?

Jess showed me this video yesterday and i promptly requested that we never reenact it. i could never unleash the awful things i direct towards myself at someone i love so much.

and while i wept at the words thrown at me, that cut a little too deep, i realized that the kindness, empathy and compassion i hold for others, disappears when i turn inward. we must be kind with ourselves.

i love you, dear reader, but i don’t want to keep writing blog posts on saturdays. it seems like the universe has different plans in store for me. it keeps teaching me lessons to share.

so, please take this advice to heart toward yourself and others: don’t be cruel, don’t be hurtful, don’t be an asshole.

i’ll be learning to do the same.

photo credit: allison bridgman.