As a 20 something, having a life changing event entitles you to share your wisdom with your other, sometimes clueless counterparts. Fools learn from their own experiences, the wise, cool cats learn from other people's blog posts.
Last week, my mother had a health scare which stopped us, shocked us and made us revaluate. This is what I learnt
1. Say Thank You- I was going with Early to Bed, Early to Rise, but this one was more contextual. We're really, really blessed in ways that our selfish, narcissistic lives sometimes overlook. It's easy to be flippant and overlook basic outlines of our lives- like limbs, families and hearts- but every now and then, we should stop where we are, crank up the volume and go bat-shit crazy to I feel good. Try doing this outside the shower, it looks less dodgy.
2. You have a lot of friends- The worst way to find out how popular you are, is to have a crisis.
Here's what your anthropological findings may look like- you have a friend who will show up everyday with odd care packages and absolutely nothing to say. She will giggle inappropriately and incessantly, her ears will turn red and you will have to take time out to ease her awkwardness. This will be the oddest yet most effective way you will be comforted. There is the other friend who despite getting killed at work, will show up, only to make fun of your clothes, and say inappropriate things loudly. Case in point: "I'm so thankful this hospital looks like a hotel, it truly makes me feel better. Imagine if it looked like a real hospital."
An old University room mate will send you an email from half way across the world. The girl you grew up with, will insist on you sending her screen shots of every diagnosis and report. This is so she can describe what exactly happened and assure you, that had you been in New York, care would have been much the same.
The much loved Friend's fiancee and Friend will entertain your parents while you try to catch up on sleep at home. Your boss will offer you the potent care package of cupcakes, vodka and her cat (what else are care packages made of?). Your room mate will assume the role of a parent, all the way from London and incessantly send military texts like "status"/ "food??". This text will be sent three times a day, until a satisfactory answer is received. And then there is your childhood friend, who will leave her case (due at court), abandon her boss and shadow you until the day ends. She will also have left you wise emails, just in case you decide to troll the internet unsupervised.
Amidst this overwhelming love and support, one question will worry you every now and then-
If I am so popular, why am I not invited to more parties ?
3. Reserve judgment- Most of us are completely unprepared for adult life situations. When faced with a crisis, we're bad versions of Whose line is it anyway?. At no point will you anticipate your next move. Grief, fear, anger will look different on every one. Some choose to deflect, some avoid, some wallow, some grow their hair out and some just really eat a lot of dessert. Just show up; being a rock is the most underrated grand gesture if there ever was one. Be a rock and don't judge. If a reaction doesn't look, like you thought it would, doesn't make it less real or deserving of care. Chances are your friend/family are only looking to lean on you. Be kind, who knows you might turn out to be the crazy person who denies themselves oral hygiene as an expression of grief? Oh, and always carry Altoids.
4.Find a joke in a hopeless place. Laugh- I suspect you're rolling your eyes at how generic this list turned out. That's alright, I'm trying to type while sticking my tongue out at you.
In the all consuming largeness of everything, you need to take a moment to laugh. For me, there was something ironically soothing to the microcosm of a stress pimple. You could juxtapose it to the larger situation, or you could write bad poetry. My submission:
An Ode to a Zit
You sit across my barren cheek,
Spitefully, making me resemble a freak.
You softly remind of the Good & Greater
Dear Spot, you're almost a freakin' crater.
This rhyme is a doozy and honestly dead
But I'm really thankful, you're not on my forehead.
5. Mummies are Boss- Of all the people, in all of the world, there's no one like your mom (I wanted to use 'my' instead of 'your' here, but I realize this makes it more relatable). She made you her profession, and I'm guessing you're slouched in front of a computer somewhere. Sit up straight, get off the phone, pull up your jeans and go spend time with her. Take her out, show her off, smother her in affection if you must.
Of course, trying to blog while balancing a computer on her stomach (as she rests) may not convey the sentiment very well.
(Photo Credit: Here. Also, how adorable?)