If you watch Grey's Anatomy you know that Shonda Rhimes (the screenwriter) has become increasingly melodramatic as the seasons roll on. The main characters endure everything from plane crashes to cancer to sudden, unexpected death. I know a lot of people who stopped watching the show when one of the beloved main characters died last season.
"This is just too ridiculous not that many bad things can happen to someone," has become the running consensus for many of us die hard Grey's fans. We love the drama but we recognize that there is an increasing level of unlikelihood in the events that the characters face.
Yesterday was the sixth worst day of my life. I'm incredibly conservative about the stories that I share by name on my blog and this instance is no exception. For the sake of the post you only really need to know that I received news that shattered me and people close to me and that I have some difficult, life changing decisions to make in the next few months because of it.
My life feels like the end of the eleventh season of Grey's Anatomy right now. Thinking the worst is over and then the main character dying pretty much sums up my current life situation. I spent all day yesterday talking to my friends saying, "this is just too ridiculous not this many bad things can happen to someone."
All of this to say, as of yesterday I'm not in any place to be writing a blog but last week, before any of this, I promised to start writing more. It's hard to start writing more in the middle of such a fragile season but it occurred to me that things are happening that I might enjoy looking back on in ten years. I really love writing the messy because I think people find it more relatable than the perfect lives that so many bloggers seem to be living. So, here's a funny story.
I went to target on the sixth worst day of my life. With tearstained cheeks I grabbed a red cart and tried to navigate the normalcy of the store. I'd just gotten home from a vacation at my family house on Lake Michigan and my apartment had zero anything. Somehow in my mind I thought getting out of my apartment and getting groceries, as I processed what I'd just found out, was a good plan.
I haven't had a cold or the flu in two years and I never, ever take medicine, aside from my essential oils. That said, I'd been fighting an aggressive sore throat and runny nose for forty-eight hours and I made a beeline for the NyQuil the second I got into the store. I can count on one hand the amount of times that I've taken NyQuil but the overwhelming pressure in my head and pain in my throat had me all up in the medicine isle. I found a DayQuil/NyQuil pack and poured myself liquid DayQuil (like a shot in the middle of target, unpurchased) and took a dose and a half.
My logic at the time was that I open water bottles in target and buy them later at checkout. In between my aching throat, my running nose and my overwhelming emotions I really didn't think about the fact that popping open unpurchased NyQuil before checkout is a little bit different than popping open an unpurchased water bottle before checkout.
A Target employee approached me 90 seconds afterwards. His tag read, "SECURITY," in bold white letters and he was ready to secure a situation. "Ma'am I have reason to believe that you have stolen and misused over the counter medicine from our store would you please come with me."
"Holy shit. I'm going to target jail," I thought as I trailed behind Mr. Security. This is an all time low. I got taken to the back where I was asked if I was stealing over the counter medicine by the most official looking Target employee I have ever seen. I felt like I was in the Wizard of Oz when they met Oz.
I put my game face on and tried to explain. "I'm so sorry this is a misunderstanding I couldn't even shop I'm so sick I really just needed to take the medicine in order to finish my grocery list."
I think the Target Oz pitied the sound of the soreness/congestion in my voice because he did everything but hug me as he supervised my checkout and walked my cart to the front. People are kind when it counts and that's a huge blessing. I forgot half my mental grocery list and came out with the medicine, a four pack of chicken soup, Kleenex, and soap.
Post my time in the Target detention center I went to a house party. At my own house. I didn't know I was having one but I got home and the lobby of my apartment was filled with my favorite girlfriends. It was only in the last year and a half that I developed a friend group that knows every unabridged piece of my wild story. For people like this to drop everything for me and show up to sit on my couch because I'm navigating something unimaginably difficult is the biggest gift ever.
They fed my dog and cried with me. I called two of my international friends -- one in Europe and one in Kenya, and they stayed up until 2-3am their time just talking through things with me.
Something that has become a theme for my life this year is this:
"In the heart of the heartache remember the bones of the life that built you and the people that love you."
What it means is that there are people, places, and stories in my life than mold the foundation of my humanness -- the bones of my identity. I find my reassurance in understanding that the true bones of my identity -- family, true friends, the house I grew up in, always-kind Target employees -- are all completely untouchable by the broken seasons of my life.
I think knowing that you're not in the mess of life alone is the most powerful thing in the world and I'm so lucky to do life with people that are with me through the thick of it.