The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE FIFTY EIGHT: THE LITTLE THINGS
I have talked about the little things off and on as these blog posts have gone on.
This post is dedicated to those small things that make life matter.
I hated the third grade. And when I said hated, I don’t just mean hated, I HATED the third grade.
We had a teacher that, to this day, I feel like she hated kids. She rarely smiled and if she did, it was usually more of a sneer.
Let’s call her, Ms. Jerkface.
Ms. Jerkface, in all of my school years, even cussed in front of us.
“You DAMN kids need to act right!”
She scared the crap out of me.
Plus, the third grade was also the only year I ever got picked on and bullied. I’m not sure why to this day. I always tried to be funny and make people laugh. That was my way of making friends. But some kids are just not going to like you. I was punched and kicked. And I cried.
And Ms. Jerkface saw this happen a couple of times and did nothing about it.
So, yeah… I HATED the third grade.
I think back and think maybe this was some sort of coping reaction but I had started to collect broken Crayons. And pencils that were too short to write with.
To me, they were like lost entities that felt like they had no purpose left.
That was how I felt.
I would find these broken Crayons and stubs of pencils on the floors and in our community Crayon box. I would even look in the trash cans. You would be surprised at how many I found.
I would put them in my pockets and backpack and take them home with me. There, I had an old pencil box where I kept them. As silly as it is to say, they were my friends. We all felt like we were used up and no good. But we had each other.
Then one day, my mom cleaned my room and emptied my pencil box of rejected writing and coloring friends.
I got home from school to add more and opened the box and stared in shock. Gone.
I went running to my mom in tears and asked her where they were. She said she had thrown them in the trash.
I cried as I spent an hour going through broken eggshells, wet coffee grounds, and just plain old garbage to find each one. My mom just shook her head and told me to clean it all up once I was done.
I collected them all and put them back in the box. I stared at them for a while. They smelled now. They were nasty to touch.
They felt dead to me now. What little lives I had given them were now gone.
I picked up the pencil box of dead Crayons and pencils, took them back to the garbage can I had just picked them out of no more than a few hours ago and dumped the whole thing in. A casket for a bunch of dead lives.
I still wonder why I chose these cast-off Crayons and pencils. Why did I give them little souls to help me deal with school?
I guess maybe I wanted to save something, to feel like a hero. I felt like a zero all the other times.
In life, we look for the little things to make us feel better. Most of us are steered toward the lone flower in the crack of a paved parking lot. Or the one colorful rock in a driveway of plain grey rocks. Or that one beautiful shell out of a beach of broken ones.
We need the little things. Those little things can become our greatest treasures. And those little things don’t even need to be material objects.
Have you ever had a genuine smile from a stranger? Just a sweet smile because maybe they thought you needed it? Have you ever had a cursed day and go and try to make yourself feel better and go through the drive-thru of your favorite coffee place to find out when you get to the window that your drink was paid for by the person that was in front of you? Or out of the blue, for no reason what so ever, your child tells you that they love you?
When you are having a good day, those moments are sweet. But when you are having a horrible, crooked day, those moments lift you up and make you remember those bad things that happened are fleeting.
The little things help us all get through life. The hard part is to recognize them when they happen. And by doing that, you must look for them. Once you become aware of them around you, you’ll get to a place where you can’t stop noticing them. It will become a way of life.
Life will feel more worth it. You’ll need it. It’s the little things that you’ll remember the most.
They are just like those seeds I talked about before. That acorn that turns into a huge oak tree.
We need the little things.
So, I eventually got out of the third grade. When I got to the fourth grade, I had one of the best teachers I have ever had, Mrs. Porter.
Mrs. Porter was a person you could tell liked kids. And we did our best to make her smile. I did, at least.
I think about it now. It was the little things that got me through the year of Ms. Jerkface. If anything came out of it that was positive, it may have taught me to look for the little things. To love and care about the little things. To cherish them.
Every one of them.
They might be little, but in my heart, they are the biggest things I have ever seen.
February 24th, 2017
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.