The last few months have been one of the most challenging times of my life. I lost my job, my income, and along with that, a part of my identity. Then, the relationship with the man who I thought I was going to marry, ended abruptly. I never had a back-up plan. I just trusted and gave the relationship everything I had. Since I had given up my apartment along with all my furniture to live together with him, I had no “home” left. It was as if one day I was living this stable, secure and planned life and within moments, I was lost, broken, and just trying to make it through another day.
I never, in my life, felt such paralyzing pain. There were some pretty dark times in those first few weeks, and the thoughts going through my head were toxic and downright crazy. It was as if a different person possessed me, and my worst self surfaced. Pain controlled me, along with sorrow, self-pity and a rage that screamed, “Why is this happening to me? Why is life so unfair?”.
But through the process, I realized, as much as I thought I had “lost everything”, I actually had a whole lot. I had my health, my friends and my family. And that alone, makes one extremely wealthy. My friends lent me their apartments, and with a suitcase of basics, I moved 7 times within a span of two months. My sister from New York called me every single day for two months straight, usually at least twice, to check up on me. My other sister spent nights with me, and handled me with care and a kind of nurture that only an older sister knows. Every conversation revolved around my pain and drama, and not once did they ever seem to get sick of hearing me cry, question or ramble.
My parents walked on eggshells around me, afraid to say the wrong thing. So they just showed me their care in the way they knew how but without prying or asking questions. And if you know typical Asian parents – this is an extremely hard thing to do.
And my friends – oh my dear, dear friends. They listened, comforted me, and even interrupted their own busy lives to spend time with me. A few of them literally picked me up off the floor when I would go spiralling into a dry-heaving cry fest. I’ll never forget, during the first few days, my friends took shifts visiting me – making sure that in my most fragile stage I was not alone. They brought me food and made sure I ate since I was so depressed I had no appetite. They did nothing but love me. Not once did any of my friends or family make me feel like I was an inconvenience or a burden.
And people who I don’t speak to regularly, some just acquaintances from my past – reached out to me, and wrote me messages with such kindness and compassion. Even some old friends who’ve I had past differences with, made the effort to send me a few nice words or a song, to show that they cared.
Strangers who read my articles took the time to send me thoughtful, supportive emails. People from different parts of the word, of different ages and experiences, connected with me and shared their stories. Perfect strangers – reached out with kindness, with no agenda or motive, but from one human to another, wanted to share their care.
Pretty damn amazing. And I feel so fortunate to have such a community of love and support.
So I wanted to write this note to you. All of you. Thank you for being kind, because if it wasn’t for your kindness, love and care, I don’t think I would have been able to pick myself back up. To those who sent me messages of support, or even quietly sent me some positive energy from afar – thank you. You don’t know what a difference it has made in my life.
And if there is anyone else out there, who may be going through something similar, I’ll leave you with this. If you act with love, and use that as your compass, regardless of the challenge you may be facing, however dark, deep and painful it may be – eventually, love will circle back. It may have a funny way of navigating back to you, and sometimes it can take its sweet ol’ time, but it eventually does. And it only gets better from there. I promise.
With love and appreciation,
Photo credit: Amarpreet Kaur