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I was sick and hadn’t eaten so I was feeling weak, yet I was out shopping for storage containers because I had to move the next day. I was feeling resentful towards a very unaccommodating housing office, and doubly so now adding this sickness.  My cohort, classmate, and friend the Col. came to pick me up and take me shopping and after I told her I couldn’t afford dinner she was buying me dinner.

That is why you life a good life… she explained, “So that when you need help, people are more than willing to be there for you.”  I thought earnestly about her words and decided that they were unwittingly the spoon full of sugar that I needed.  I really wish I knew why it is so incredibly difficult for me to accept help. However, I think I better learn to do it graciously because I keep being put in the position of having to do it. Mara joked with me yesterday that I wasn’t just on the struggle bus, I was at the struggle bus stop because I’d missed the three that I needed.  It made me laugh because its so incredibly true.

All summer I had to deal with a lack of funds, since I’ve started my job, payroll has messed up my check, financial aid took away fall aid, I’ve had to spend my last few dollars paying for a place to live (deposits) and moving supplies when really I didn’t want to be moving for another week (after pay day)…not to mention this class that I have been in for the last two weeks. When you add that, plus an unexpected cootie that zaps your energy, steals your appetite, and makes you just plain old uncomfortable you have me over the past two days.  But I couldn’t forget the Colonel’s words.

That is why you live a good life…

I texted a few friends yesterday and told them the situation. Not wanting help, just to vent. I expected the responses that I got, a bunch of “Oh no, it’ll all work outs” which really in a time like yesterday felt trite and kind of just like…the thing you say when you don’t know what to say.  I am not sure what I was looking for in terms of response, especially since I am not the complainer friend. But it wasn’t very comforting to hear. Then  LT…

And I was. I was smiling and in that moment I said to myself, you know–this is going to work out. It always does and it always will. A few minutes later I got an email from financial aid saying I had money on the way. I thought to myself, wow…you really do only need the faith of a mustard seed because that’s about what I was down to, but that’s all it took.

I just thought about my mother. She has this amazing ability to draw people in, and she has not one oz of shame when it comes to asking questions or asking people to share knowledge/give help, etc. I want to be more like her in that way. My mom has voice that is sure of itself. I want more of that. Maybe I will think of her in those moments…the moments when there is opportunity to reach out and yet I stop myself. I will think of her, and her “nothing fails except not trying” attitude. And I think…that IS why you live a good life. So that you can be a blessing to others, but also so that you can receive the blessing when its your time to.  This cyclic life of service.

I just really heard what LT said…”your testimony is going to save someone.” Those are the same words the woman in Target told me after my accident. Not similar, not close to, but verbatim those words and added to never stop sharing. Wow…
If I really believe that in this life I am meant to do that, to save others, then its not just about being okay and talking about it like I do here, its about being open in general…even (and especially) when I am down.  Namely because my story is not solely mine. So many people have been, and will be in the places that I am in. There is a collective learning and understanding that exists if only we are courageous enough to share.  To speak. To ask. 18 hours or so later, but I got it.

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