Yeah, but actually.
Story time: I took a day trip to Historic Petersburg the other weekend. Well, I meant to go to Virginia Beach to dramatically run in the waves at sunset*, but I ended up in Historic Petersburg because I got pulled over and it sent my anxiety into orbit so I opted to spend the day in Historic Petersburg instead. It was literally 15 minutes away from where I was so I decided to forget the beach and go there instead since I hadn’t been before.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.
I have this thing about romantic situations. And I mean that both romantically in terms of relationships, and romantically in terms of situational. Think the romance that movies set up for every day situations, or situations that seem to happen organically and are stunning and meaningful. Someone working on a blog at a coffee shop (ahem ahem), taking a walk through the woods during fall and listening to the silence, taking steps into freshly fallen snow outside of a cabin in the mountains. I seek these moments out and I revel in the beauty of situational romance. So when I say I was driving to Virginia Beach to dramatically run in the waves at sunset, I legitimately was driving 2.5 hours so I could stick my feet in the ocean and run at sunset.
I was well on my way when I discovered I hit a seemingly un-scalable wall in my plan. I was pulled over. It’s taken care of, nothing serious. No lasting damage done. But at the time it was a spike in the side of my anxiety which had been bubbling over the past few weeks due to stress at work. Frankly speaking, being pulled over was the last thing I wanted or needed. I wanted a relaxing, situational romance filled day that I could record in my memories and my Instagram. (me.rose12, btw.) So I’m pulled over, my anxiety goes into orbit, and I decide it just isn’t worth driving to the beach. For whatever reason I just felt, “done,” and I wasn’t up for the drive. On the way to the beach I had passed an exit to Historic Petersburg. I had never been, and frankly was kinda, “meh” about it, and wasn’t really into going. But now? As I sat in the parking lot of a Dollar General shivering from the after effects of anxiety? It sounded just fine to me. So, I turned around, and mosey’ed over.
At this point in the day, I didn’t know what I was really gonna do, but I figured I would walk around and maybe treat myself to some lunch. Take some pictures. Live the life.
My first stop was this antique mall.
I’m wandering around, and find myself a nice wool blanket for ten dolla. (Hell yes.) So I go downstairs, head to the register to pay, and am talking to the two ladies at the front desk. Turns out, one of them had survived breast cancer. This woman almost died.
And she told me something;
“You realize that nothing really matters.”
She went on to talk about how that boy you had a crush on but didn’t like you back, doesn’t really matter. That all of the stress and worry that you are accumulating now, doesn’t really matter. That in this life the most important thing is being alive, and how when she was sick she took a restock of her whole life and re-evaluated what was really important to her, and came out stronger, more grounded, and more thankful for life itself.
This really struck home with me. Like I said, I was upset for being pulled over and for the stress I’ve been having at work and just in general. Growing up and being independent is tough, my dudes. It’s a tough road of preachy self-help crap and learning personal responsibility and self respect. (sorta.) And this woman, she just kinda tore down all those perceptions of importance that I had been building.
Fundamentally, she made me realize that I am young, and more importantly, I am alive.
I have so much to be thankful for, and so many people in my life that I can go to for love and support. I have a great sense of humor and two working legs, and while I fight I fight for me and for my OWN dreams. That is beautiful.
And I dunno. She made me sit down and shut up to the reality of the beauty of life. And it is beautiful.
I walked out of that shop with my blanket with a humbled perspective and soothed ego and sense of being. I legitimately believe that this woman, in five minutes, told me exactly what I needed to hear, and changed my life.
So, after this life lesson, I decided to go eat lunch. It was good. I was simple. I took pictures.
Afterwards, I kept walking. I walked around this entire small Historic District. It was mainly empty, but the people were nice. I totally made a new friend, too.
I walked into this cute little grocery store, and there was this 6 year old chilling with his aunt. This little boy decided I needed a friend, and showed me his toys and invited me to sit down and eat lunch with him. So I did. His aunt just smiled and went about her business, and when the little boy’s dad showed up I was super awkward in introducing myself to him. ‘Cause it felt weird. Like, I’d want to know who my kid was hanging out with and I’ve literally never been in town before. I shook this guy’s hand and just sort of stuttered through a self introduction about not wanting to be weird (TOO LATE. CONGRATS MEG YOU’RE AWKWARD.) He told me I didn’t look like a creeper. I bought soap and left, fam. I hope this kid gets a story when he’s a teenager about how he invited some blonde chick to have lunch with him.
I’ll never forget you, kid. Godspeed.
So. Another life lesson. Don’t be awkward. It makes it worse. (ha.ha.ha.)
And also? Don’t take yourself so seriously.