Lonely parking lot food

Yesterday I went to Office Depot. It was 10:30 in the morning, I went into the store, bought my office supplies, and paid. I was feeling good about life, and good about myself.  It was just an ordinary morning.

I walked out to my car and noticed a large minivan parked one spot away from my car.  Inside was a woman, by herself, with the back of the van filled with 4 empty crumb-filled carseats.  I looked at her and she turned her head away from me.  She was eating a large McDonald's burger, and had another on lined up on the dashboard.

I smiled at her, but she didn't see me.  She was busy.

I felt a pang of deep love and compassion for this woman, who, without knowing anything about her, I felt a deep kinship.  I know what it's like to sit in a seemingly empty parking lot, well before lunch, stuffing food down my gullet quickly and shamefully.  (Now, I don't know that she felt any shame, I just know that is how I felt when I behaved in the same way.)

I know nothing about this lady, nothing about her life. I am self-aware enough to know that I am probably projecting all of my feelings and issues onto her. Even so, in an instant, I felt in my body and soul how tired she felt, how exhausted from life.  How she used to feel like she knew herself, maybe even loved her body.  I felt the quiet desperation of hiding from life, from pain.

The most important realization for me upon seeing this woman was knowing that I don't feel this way any more.  I feel connected to my life, connected to my body.  I feel like the days of hiding are over, and the pain of past hurts and disappointments are slowly evaporating from my life story.   I know that there are hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands(?) of women out there who feel alone, but are not.  

The beautiful woman in the car is me.  I am her.   We are as similar as we are different.   I am sending her love today, hoping that she knows that it does get better.