I meant to post up my exact thoughts on the day it happened, but one thing lead to another and somehow it’s 21 days later.
That day, I was very down. Actually, I was down for weeks. Actually, I had been down for years. It’s just that, hope keeps me going. Things that happen with others act as whimsical invisible ropes that allow me to barely hold onto and guide me. Every day is this feeling of near hopelessness. It is a bad feeling. It is a feeling of constant subtle ache and at the pit of my stomach, it feel like there is a small wound and inside that wound, something dormant nests there. It feels like something entirely extraterrestrial. As if it will awaken one day and it will swallow me from inside out.
I decided to go out for a ride that day after taking about a week off from my semi riding routine. I made sure my tires were full of air, checked my gears and chain, then headed out of my garage, then out the driveway and out the front gates. I did my usual route out along McNeely Drive, then onto #5 road, head north and turned right on Cambie Road. Then I continued passed Cambie school, took a left on Jacombs and did a loop around on the cul de sac at Ikea where the people were still on strike, though they call it a “lock out”. I went back down on Jacombs heading south and passed the intersection towards Jack Bell Drive where I turned into and went through the residential road.
It was at a gradual bend that I noticed something in the sky. It was a mass of grey and white clouds with a hole in its centre. The sun looked like a perfect circle with a mesh of wobbly lights surrounding it. Then again, it probably looked like that due to the filter of my sunglasses. It was beautiful and it outshone all of the whimsical invisible ropes that had guided me for so long. Though I did say to myself at the time, “I know it will only last for a moment, but thank you.” It was me recognizing what the ‘Heavens’ were doing for me. I smiled on the inside as I could not bring my being to smile unfortunately.
As a ‘warm-down’, I turned left on McNeely Drive and then right on a different road just before the exit going out onto #5 again. This time, for the first time, I did something I never did before but it was something I had thought of doing before many times. As I rode passed a parked car, I noticed an old woman inside. She looked like she was sleeping or passed out. I kept going, but pedaled slowly, contemplated whether I should see if she was okay. For a split moment, I decided I wouldn’t check on her, but as I turned right around the corner, I reconsidered and turned around. I picked up speed and rode up and stopped next to the car, then knocked on the window. At that moment, a few things came through my mind, “What if she doesn’t wake up to answer me? Do I go to the house where the car is parked at and see if anyone knows her? Should I call 911?” Calling 911 seemed to be the next logical step. Fortunately, she did wake up and she opened the door since the window was electronically driven.
Me: Are you okay? Do you need help?
Woman: Oh you’re so kind. I am fine. I was just waiting… You’re so kind… [mixed up a few things]
Me: Okay [smiled] I’m glad you’re fine. I thought you passed out.
Woman: Thank you, you’re so kind. Thank you.
Something like that. It was a bit longer and there was a little more exchanging, but that’s the basics of it. I ended up smiling at her, while waving good bye as I rode back the other way. Apparently, she was waiting in her car in front of the house waiting for her grand children.
That made me feel very good that day. I smiled as I turned that corner and thought that I was glad I reconsidered and checked up on her. A situation like this never happened before, but there has been situations where I had wished I did something about it. From that day onward, I started to interact with strangers a bit more than usual. For example, about a week after that, I went out for a walk with my mom and a Chinese girl was sitting on her bike, as if she was having a hard time. I slowed down my pace and asked if she was okay with a smile and she smiled back and told me she was totally fine and thanked me.
This may seem like a normal thing to do, but considering the nearly two decades I’ve been using the internet and witnessing so much bullshit that people say and react on, I have to say as much as these sort of things should be normal, they are actually quite abnormal. If the world has one billion people, only a small handful of that would bother caring about another person that isn’t a friend or a family member.
The most common thing I do while I ride my bike is smile at pedestrians and say “hello” or “hi” to them. Most of them are receptive, but some of them either don’t know how to respond or they just stare at me as if what I just did was completely alien to them. Which made me think of the days long passed, way before my time and before the time of my cousins and possibly even my parents time where kids would take their hats off and greet men and women walking down a street. I don’t greet strangers all of the time, but I do it enough, yet I hardly see people do it to each other. Maybe except my parents greeting neighbors.
Anyway, I suffer from ‘mild depression’ if I compare it to my wife. Though if I don’t compare it to anyone, the depression feels like a blunt rot eating away at me from the inside slowly and gradually. People don’t get it because they don’t have it. They think it’s just a mood issue. They think it’s something that happens today and disappears tomorrow. No, it is something that is constant. It’s just that on some days, I get to hide it better. Sometimes, a lot is happening that day. However, no matter what is happening, who is there and what I am doing, that blunt rot is constant.
When I look outside and I see blue, it makes me feel different. It doesn’t make me feel better. I tell my friends I feel better, because I don’t want the hassle of explaining myself. In reality, I don’t feel better. I feel different. If every day feels like a subtle dulled ache inside of me, then when I see, smell or touch something that inspires me momentarily, then I don’t actually feel better. Instead, I feel different. It is a difference that is welcoming. Though I know it will only last for a few moments, then everything else comes back into place again and that’s that.
In the back of my mind, what I see, smell and touch is an inspiration that allows me to get a breather even if it’s just for that moment, that split second, but I welcome it because without these little things in life, I wouldn’t have a life to live today.
I read on Youtube somewhere, a comment that said (paraphrased) “Take a fucking pill and move on with life!” This was some guy who downplayed depression as some simple mood issue. Clearly, he has never been depressed. Clearly, he was extremely moody that day.
Earlier, I said that what I did to check up on that lady in the car could be seen as normal, yet it really isn’t and that greeting strangers while walking around also is seen as normal, but it isn’t, well, this sort of attitude is rampant all over the world. People choose to be ignorant, paranoid and hateful because it’s safer to assume that everyone is out there to ruin your life one way or another and that you can only rely on yourself to get anything done. In the chance you can’t rely on yourself, then you must ‘educate’ others on how to live their own lives based solely on how you live yours. <---- this my friends, is how fucked up the world is. What I said here seems mild, but it really isn't. Normality dictates that the majority of people have accepted a certain range of behaviors, but does that acceptance also include the ability to act on them or is it simply an acceptance? I realized that the majority of the people I have come across in my lifetime so far are talkers, but most of them are not doers or they do a little and preach the rest. It's not surprising. My dad is exactly like that. I never claimed I could do anything I could not do and the only time I preached is when I previously told them where I failed and suggestions on how they can do what they need to do. This has always been part of my set of principles I follow. Though it seems that I too am human enough to fail some of them. At the very least, I can try to preach what I have already experienced and in a way to guide, rather than enforce. Still, I am where I started, maybe with a few less words to express. I think the main reason it has put me off from posting my thoughts for three weeks is because I feel like there is always something else I could be doing that would earn me a little extra money. Money is a big reason for being down all of the time. It has gotten to a point where I tell myself, "If only I am given another chance. If only someone comes and gives me a chance." I am not a staff worker and I could barely drive to a strange new place without having my social anxiety kick in full force, but I am a worker and I can work. I can even meet with people, depending on a few things. I just need a chance. If I manage to have a kid in the future, the biggest thing I am going to work on as a parent is to help enable my son or daughter. I will try to be his/her launch pad. I will guide him/her to build her rockets, help him/her find the fuel and the passion to drive him/her to the future with love, patience and education. I will be his/her teacher, tutor, mentor and student all rolled into one. I will help enable her to become more, to seek out more, to have more. I don't want her to end up like me. I will take her hand and make sure to stand beside her, then let go at the right moment. I will watch and let her fall, but I will always be close by and if she gets hurt hard enough, I will pick her up and bandage her. Then patiently and gently tell her where it went wrong and hopefully she will accept it and understand it and maybe do it again, but differently. Ultimately, I may have many desires for my kid, but the bottom line is what s/he wants the most for him/herself. I just hope I have enough will power in me to live that long. If not my parents and my wife, I think I would have been long gone. Well, I would like to say my friends have played a role in keeping me alive, but it's all so vague these days. The memories the good old days are long gone.