Friday, February 1, 2013

She is Me

As I was walking out of my apartment today, I was happy to see a neighbor a few doors down leaving at the same time. I hadn't seen her since this summer, when we both were in the elevator, sweat already pouring down our faces -- despite still being in an air-conditioned building and it only being 10 a.m.

You see, she's like me. And I don't see many of us in this city.

I can tell by the way she carries herself, that she, too, is unhappy with her weight. But both times I've seen her, I've also been struck by how pretty she is and how nice she dresses. 

Today,  I held the elevator door for her while she put trash in the chute. As she hurried to the open door, she was breathing hard. "I have got to lose weight," she said. "It's killing me." 

I imagine that she wouldn't normally say something like this to just anyone on an elevator. But she knew I understood. And I told her I did and mentioned something about stress and how it can really make it hard. She then said, "You ignore it for so long and it gets out of control."

Yes, yes it does. 

I see her and I want to help. I want to help her. Because I already care about her, and my heart goes out to her and her struggles. But she is me. And why do I find it so much harder to help myself? 

Until we learn to take care of ourselves, we can't genuinely help others. This self-analysis, self-help I'm going through right now seems very, er, selfish, but I know it's an important first step.

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