I was doing one final loop of the store, wanting to make the most of the last few minutes of my shift before I left for the day. There was a woman who looked so vaguely familiar that I did not even quite register a familiarity standing near the water bottles with a quizzical look on her face. Unsure as to why I recognized her it was equally unclear whether she was trying to find a product or merely deep in thought about something entirely unrelated to the store. I made eye contact and inquired, with a smile: “are you trying to find something or just deep in thought?”
“I read and love your blog” she nearly gushed. I shook my head a bit, hoping, perhaps, that it would unearth some clarity, or context, even, to what she had just said. Who was she? How did she know about my blog? And, perhaps more importantly, how did she know I was me? As each of these queries bounced around in my head, I literally blurted out: “who are you, how do you know my blog and how did you know me?!” (with, of course, a smile.)
She warmly introduced herself (her name was immediately recognizable, primarily, I think, from having seen her comment on other people’s Facebook threads) and told me of the mutual friends we have, one of which (she could not recall, if I am recalling correctly, which friend it was) had told her about the blog some time ago and she has been a rabid follower ever since. She praised me for my candor, honesty and humor. And then she literally (and I am not making this up) welled up. I then (again, not making this up) welled up, too. It was a strange, yet ridiculously satisfying, interaction, right there in the middle of the store.
As we continued to speak, I heard pleas in my headset for assistance in another part of the store. I even heard my name being specifically beckoned, yet I sorta, kinda, in a way ignored the request in favor of listening to my new friend heap praise and admiration upon me as she thanked me for my blog and for sharing my story.
And that got me to thinking.
Often people have thanked me, told me that they appreciate my writing about such a complicated issue or expressed a connection to my writing. Not gonna lie: it feels good to hear it. But, the truth is, I need to thank all of you for reading, appreciating, supporting and loving me through this all. Writing is easy for me. Being honest and keeping things real is easy for me. Making people laugh is easy for me. Asking for help and patting myself on the back: not so easy for me. Each time someone sends me a kind note or introduces themselves to me as a reader of my blog I feel a little bit safer and, frankly, a little less alone.
The lady by the water bottles probably doesn’t know that she made my day. She likely doesn’t realize how important her support is to me (and I don’t even know her!). We all just want to feel safe and supported, right? Isn’t that all that Jessie really wants?
My thanks to her for taking a chance at seeming like a stalker (her words, not mine) and letting me know that she knew who I was…it is more appreciated than she knows.