Today I woke up with the realization that even if I try to avoid it, the world is going to shit. When I logged onto the cyber world, I saw things that caused so much pain. And in all actuality, I thought people were talking/posting about events that took place two or three days ago. No, it happened again.
If you know anything about me, you know I don’t watch the news. You might actually know that it terrifies me. When I feel pain, I feel it deep. Today I cried. A lot.
I have no right to say I know anything about what is going on. But it scares me. I don’t know how it feels to be anything but a white girl who grew up in a small town less than a couple hours outside of Pittsburgh.
Tonight I went to a brewery to watch a friend play music. It was a simple night full of folky tunes, a one man band and people that have supported each other since high school. The thing I love about music is it brings people together. I, along with people I adore, sat at a picnic table with a family we had never met.
You know when you feel kind of off? You’re like, ok, maybe I’m tired from the day, maybe I came to do what I needed to do, maybe I am just here to support whoever at the moment. That was me tonight. I was tired and actually just wanted an early evening.
But there was a family there and they talked to us. A small conversation about a T-shirt led to so much more. This man and woman were out with their 21-year-old son. He is a student at Penn State. A student who, and I quote, they were okay with being a garbage man because he struggled so much academically. A student who was enrolled in private school. This guy, who sat across the table from me and taught me about Pokemon Go, who is going to be an engineer, got in trouble at his private school because at a young age he was reading books that talked about magic. These books are what helped him learn to read. And although this was frowned upon, his parents stood by him. They ended up removing him from the school because it was what was best for him.
They also stood by their other son. He’s gay. I sat next to his dad, who told us when his son told him he responded with please just go be happy. Live your life. And for the who knows how many times today, I cried. These people probably thought I was insane.
I also sat there and talked to the mother. The mother of these amazing kids. The younger son who made me feel old because, my gosh, when was Pokemon even a thing? And the other, who came out to his grandparents after the shootings in Orlando. And I got to hear her story. And let me just say it wasn’t a good one. But she let me in. I’m not sure why she felt comfortable telling me this story she had never told anyone else, but she did. And I know I helped her. What she didn’t know is how much she helped me.
Tonight I listed to music and talked to amazing people. I cried with them over the ugly parts of this world. Tonight I remembered there is still good in this world. And I left feeling a little bit lighter.