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.