Happy holidays everyone! I’m on a bus ride for two hours to meet up with my family and my mind is swirling with thoughts. First, I don’t know how the man in front of me is reading. Kudos to you for not getting car sick!
Mostly, my mind is on the season. The weather outside is what I deem to be perfect “snuggle” weather. You know, the slightly rainy overcast type that just makes you want to eat soup and read/ponder/sleep? Traveling makes me think of random things as I see glimpses of new places whoosh by the bus window. This takes me to thoughts of traveling outside the country.. And then I think about how somewhere in the world someone is walking on a beach in the hot sun. (Christmas does not equal snow.. or even cold weather.) Then my thoughts turn to how there are so many people in the world, so many places to see, and how it is impossible to see it all, but that is the fun part in my opinion. The ultimate choose your own adventure. I often think about how large the world is. For me, it is a good reminder to think outside of myself. This time of year usually inspires that type of thinking in people. ‘Tis the season [to give].
So tell me why I feel so strange about receiving.
Ahhhhhhh ok Mia… so this is really what is keeping your brain occupied.
Let me explain. Upon reading my last post, a friend of mine sent me money to help me out with my treatment. It seemed completely random and my first thought was “oh my, I hope I didn’t sound like I was asking for money!” (I just finally had the courage to post some of my weaknesses. Before, I never wanted to give others ammunition to use against me. In my attempt of reaching the unreachable goal of perfection I only wanted to put my best self forward. That gets exhausting so I finally decided to let others know what was going on in my life.)
I thought about this for a while and then I thought “this must be a mistake… Mia and Mom are close.. maybe he meant to send it to his mom..” (this is amusing because with the money was a note that explained it was for helping me with my treatment and car… it would be an pretty big coincidence that someone else in his list of contacts was going through the same thing.) Mostly, I was shocked. Christmas is stressful for me because I really do not know how to pick out gifts for people. It is something that I have never done. My family and I always planned a vacation or some type of purchase that would benefit the family.. and we would usually call it “Merry Christmas, here is your birthday present for this year!” And it would be a trip we took in March or something like that.. Nowhere near my birthday or Christmas. (Side note: I loved being raised this way.) We never do gift exchanges. I wasn’t raised ever having a list of Christmas gift ideas that I had to push through hundreds of people to purchase.
Instead, I have always given my time to people. I support myself living in Southern California so I have never had the means to give to others. All I had was my time to give so that is what I would do.
Being raised this way also did not prepare me for receiving gifts. I received this help from my friend and I couldn’t help feeling confused. (This may be because in all of television I have never related to a character as much as I relate to Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory when he receives a present and then feels obligated to reciprocate.) My biggest concern was that I had no idea how to reciprocate. Heck, I didn’t even know how to show enough appreciation. How many ‘thank you’s would suffice? Why does someone giving me money feel so much bigger than me giving my time and resources to others? It felt like nothing I could do would ever repay him or show him how grateful I was for his kind generosity. (Really in all of this, I highly doubt he even thought about it that much…)
I have started to realize that everyone is in need of something. If you have something that would help someone else out even a little bit then it is more than worth it to give. A small conversation with someone waiting for a bus. A small smile to a passing stranger. Letting someone merge in front of you on the freeway (and kudos to this bus driver for being awesome!). I hope that I have shown my friend how grateful I am for his help. And I promise to pay it forward in any way I can. Small acts of kindness are cheap to give and worth so much to receive. We are all in this together.
To my friend: Thank you. Really, thank you. If there is anything I can do for you just let me know.
And that goes for everyone reading this. (thank you for reading until the end! ❤️) Thank you for joining me on monkey brain journey today. 🙈
(this photo is from when Taylor Mickal and I had an LA photo shoot. I passed this location to get on the bus today 🙂 )