Over the weekend I had a really great time chilling with my next door neighbor. Now some of you may be thinking well that’s all fine and dandy, but how is that a major feat? Well to me it’s amazing in and of itself considering how I didn’t even acknowledge any of my neighbors when I first moved to my current apartment, and at the very least nowadays I wave from a distance or ask them how their day is going when I happen to come within close proximity.
So the fact I came home from grocery shopping around 7pm-ish (even had perishables), stopped to converse, talked for nearly an hour, decided to run inside to unload and fix up some rice/potato (for us both), and then returned outside to hang with them until 1:00 am the next day says a lot considering how I never used to acknowledge their existence.
Cool beans! (some of you may be thinking) Now what did y’all talk about?
Put simply, life. My neighbor is the sort of gal who has experienced some pretty tough times but always manages to stay positive by looking for the good in everything. I.e. if someone negative attempts to bring her down, she doesn’t say anything but simply smiles at them while they become completely disarmed of the need to hate her. Talk about amazing…
And before you wonder, yes – I’ve seen her do this because she always treats others with respect, kindness, gentleness, and so on regardless of whether they’re an adult or younger. I.e. she is very compassionate and caring.
So we inevitably spoke about my past and how I’ve been abused, neglected, and so on, but as a result I enjoy empowering others so they can see an alternative to what they’ve suffered. Now this is where it gets interesting because she mentioned to me how she told her boyfriend that she figured something was wrong since I never had anyone over, didn’t engage with any neighbors, and practically kept to myself (even at the complex pool when others were around). Her response?
“I’m going to keep saying hi until he says hi back to me.”
I literally wanted to cry and nearly did because I was upset I didn’t acknowledge her even though she made attempts to greet me, but also because I didn’t even remember her doing that in the first place. So I told her it’s not that I don’t believe you and I’m completely sorry I didn’t say hi back, although I was so far into my head that I didn’t even realize you were saying anything to me. Her response?
“I could tell because your body was here even though your mind was definitely elsewhere. But once again I kept trying because I knew you’d speak to me someday.”
I mean damn…
Talk about not giving up on someone! She didn’t write me off even when I was completely shut off from the world around me. Seriously – there was a point when I didn’t socialize with anyone out of fear that others would damage me even more than I already had been. In fact, this was the point in my life when I was more comfortable exploring the woods at night as opposed to venturing into the unknowns of a Starbucks during the day!
Long story short, we both had a good time conversing with each other about our lives, goals, and past experiences which made us into the peeps we are today. I.e. we were both vulnerable and opened up even though that’s not something I do very often, and I even felt prompted to hug her which is something I most certainly do not do regularly…
Here’s to spending an awesome night with my neighbor when I was just planning on unloading groceries, making dinner, and calling it a night (1 am = after my bedtime which is like 9-10). I wish you the best in your travels and ventures into the deserts of the west, for even the cactus has much to offer in terms of highlighting our conversation.
Though prickly and uninviting to most, the cactus offers the most splendid array of beauty at some point in its lifecycle. That point (pun intended) just happens to arrive during the turn of a season, or the end of one stage of life as another sets in to take its place.
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