The sky is alight with flashes of purple lightening. Thunder rumbles through the mountains. Rains beats down sporadically then dies down to drips before starting up again. This freak storm feels like a fitting reflection of my emotional state lately. Flashes of frustration, some ranted outbursts, a few tears here and there, and periods of calmness.
It was one of those weeks were little things were more stressful than they ought to be and weighed more heavily on me than I realized. All of this came to a head tonight when work ended in one of the most disagreeable notes possible. It had been a hot, muggy day where I felt behind from the moment I woke up and never seemed to catch up to where I thought I should be. That stress was just beginning to fall away when we were given our new work schedules for the summer, during which I will be teaching far more hours of class than I should be, with no hope of changing it. Feeling burnt out, defeated and utterly drained, I headed out into the crying night with a few tear drops of my own.
Fortunately, we had dinner plans with a good friend and over the course of two and a half hours we not only filled ourselves with deliciousness, but also drained ourselves of the stress and frustrations from the week through an outpouring of conversation. For me, talking is one of the best medicines. Once I am comfortable with someone, I can spend hours upon hours talking with them. I love the way good conversations flow, carrying us through various topics, pausing over new ideas and establishing new understandings. In happy times, such conversations become fond, perfect memories. In hard times, they allow me to pour out the negativity circulating in my body and make connections so that I realize that I am not alone in whatever troubles I face and that perhaps there is another perspective from which to see the issue. Tonight, our conversation left me in a far better state than I have been for days. It feels as if everything is clearer now, as if all the troubles have diminished and my future struggles will not be nearly as hard as I expect. I am so thankful for good friends, their listening ears, wise perspectives and kind hearts.
And, I realized tonight as we talked that the ability to converse is one of the most amazing things people can do. Talking together, sharing our stories, our lives shows us that while we have walked different paths, had different experiences and seen different things, we all share something; a dream, a hope, an idea. Those things we share have the ability to change a person’s day, week, life…everything and they make us capable of understanding and empathizing with almost any situation.
And that is a truly beautiful thing.