Tuesday, January 24, 2006

We're the Same, You and Me

Standing in line with about six thousand others at the post office today, I realized something. All these people want the same thing. We want to take care of our own business and get out of there. We equally wanted the same thing, I think. While I realize this isn't incredibly insightful, it started the wheels turning.

Last summer, after months of training and preparation, I ran a race up a mountain. The mountain was Pikes Peak and the race was the Pikes Peak Ascent. At the end of this race the clouds, hail and snow were rolling in over the mountain, effectively leaving about 800 people stranded at the top of a mountain for several hours. Walking around the small snack bar and gift shop at the top of the mountain, I came toe to toe with another runner. We did the back-and-forth dance and then just stopped and laughed at one another, exhausted. We didn't say a word but looking into her eyes, I knew we just wanted the same thing: to go home.

Once, when I was 9, my dog ran away. This wasn't the first time but still, we went looking for him. I rode my bike around the neighborhood for an hour before running into a kid named Jack who lived up the road. Jack was looking for his dog, too. We chatted about our dogs for a minute and then Jack, being only 7, began to cry. I tried to be strong and encouraging telling Jack he would find his dog and I would help him look while I was looking for my dog, too. I told him it would be OK. Then, as I pedaled off in the opposite direction, tears began streaming down my face. I was the same as Jack, I just wanted to find my dog.

In my sophmore year in college, I took a literature class in which the professor demanded we all read the book assigned and then stand in front of the class and report back on the book. Yes, 20 years old, expensive college tuition and book reports. The 5th grade all over again, but with a hangover. Katie sat next to me in class and was completely terrified of public speaking. I told her it was no big deal, all she had to do was talk about the book, nothing personal. Katie, being a much better and more thoughtful student than I, was worried about her grade, about the class not liking her report, about stumbling over her words and about everyone staring at her. It wasn't until she stated all her fears that I realized I may have some too. Or even worse, should I have some and don't? Katie and I became much closer that semester than I'd imagined. Both living with doubts and fears but she being the only one able to admit them.

Yesterday, I read the blog of a stranger. I've never met this man and likely, never will. Yet, the thoughts he expressed about his life were eerily similar to my own. He wrote of having everything that anyone should need and yet, doubted his ability to survive. He wrote of having no reason to feel bad and yet, he did. He wrote of coping and struggling and dealing with life and I identified. Turns out, he just wanted peace, some acceptance, and a little love. Yes, don't we all. We are the same.

1 comment:

egan said...

Just had to let you know your archives are very good. Nice to learn more about you such as lasik and how your love of running started.