Painfully Beautiful

It took me a long time to notice all the noises outside my head. And, even longer, to take the time to stop and really listen to them.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve intentionally avoided seeing the world around me. And, not just the ugly parts, I turn away from even the most beautiful.

It is all so heartbreaking.

When I finally realized it was probably better for me to feel, I opened my eyes to everything around me. Now, there’s nothing I don’t see. And, while this is wonderful in so many ways, most of the time, it’s way too much for me.

In an instant, my jacked up mind can turn beauty into tragedy.

Like, the other day, when I was watching the two cardinals that live in my yard. These guys are monogamous, and will stay together as long as life allows it. As I watched them take turns at the feeder, tears started falling down my cheeks, and my mind filled with worry. What will happen if one of them dies? Will the other one search and search and search? Will it fly into every tree calling for its other half? Will it feel heartbreak like we do? Or confusion? Or both?


I’m crying again thinking about them. Go figure.

When the weather gets cold here in Houston everyone cheers. And, so do I, until I think about all the animals and the people who have no place to go and no one to love. I think about dogs trying to find a warm place on a cold night, and it rips me apart that I can’t rescue them all.

And, of course, the people.

The other day when I returned home from dropping the boys off, there was a squirrel in the street. He’d just been hit by a car. As I neared it, I prayed over and over again, “Please be dead already. Please be dead already.”

He wasn’t.

So, I stood there, cars swerving around me, trying to figure out what the hell to do, because doing nothing was not an option. There was no way I could walk into my house and leave him dying in the middle of the road….alone. No one, even the smallest of beings, should have to die alone.

So, I picked him up. And, I stood on the sidewalk holding and petting him. I spoke to him softly, “It’s okay. You’re not alone. I’m here. It’s okay.”

He seemed peaceful when he finally went.


Or, maybe that’s just what I want to believe.

All this emotion inside of me is like an active volcano…bubbling and bubbling until it reaches the surface. It’s so exhausting, and I’m constantly wondering the purpose of it all.

Some people, no, many people, probably think I’m crazy – the girl who talks to dying squirrels and cries over cardinal romance.

But, to me, they’re the crazy ones. They’re the ones I don’t understand. The ability to see pain, big and small, and feel nothing? That’s something I can’t wrap my head around.

Or, maybe I’m just jealous. After all, apathy does seem less exhausting.

The night to hand out our We See You bags is quickly approaching, and my emotions are all over the place, more so than usual.

I’m happy I can help someone a little.

I’m sad I can only help someone a little.

Is a blanket and a toothbrush going to change their lives? Will it save them? Will it rescue them? Will it love them?

No. The answer to all that is no.

And, that kills me. It’s frustrating and heartbreaking and why can’t I do more?

But, then I remember, that doing nothing won’t change their lives, save them, rescue them, or love them, either.

So, for now, this is the only road I know to take and I’ll take it with my eyes wide open.


9 thoughts on “Painfully Beautiful

  1. Have you heard of the term Highly Sensitive Person? I think that describes you. My son is like that. He cried recently because the aunts in James and the Giant Peach were so mean. He won’t go to real Christmas tree farm because he doesn’t like to see trees cut down. He’s an amazingly creative person and the way he describes the world is incredible. That’s the bonus, I think. I don’t see all that beauty like he does – like you do.

    To make this comment even longer (on my phone anyway) – you should watch the episode of Doctor Who called Vincent and The Doctor. Forget the sci fi part – it’s amazing to see how Van Gogh is portrayed fighting with depression and yet seeing so much beauty around him. And there is an animal/alien that I think you’d feel empathy toward, too. 🙂

    • I have heard of it. I should read more and I will, thanks. I mean, I’ve been known to attribute feelings to inanimate objects. If that’s not highly sensitive….

      Thank you xoxo

  2. I am crying now because this sums up how I feel about most things in this world. My parents couldn’t understand why I would cry after eating meat when I was a little girl (which is why I had to stop eating it). This world is beautiful and amazing and tragic and it’s all so overwhelming. My family is struggling financially but when I can afford a pack of smokes now, I buy at least one bottle of water and a granola bar to hand out to folks in need on the mean streets of Baltimore. And I always make eye contact and speak kindly. YOU inspired that. From the other side of the country. I am sorry to say, but I believe part of what you said is incorrect. You have made a very positive change in my life and in my heart. It’s pretty fucking awesome. Thank you for that. (and so sorry for the long-winded comment!)

    • And now I am crying. Thank you so much. You have no idea how much this means and how much I appreciate it. And, you’re talking to the Long-Winded Queen. xoxoxo

  3. I feel you, sister. Last week, we went to a dog adoption place and I wanted to take them ALL home. So many of the students I work with have sad stories, I want to save them all. But. We do what we can…

  4. Once we open our eyes, we can never close them again. I hate that part and just want to be young and stupid again.
    Oh well.

  5. I second Kelley…I live in Ontario, Canada, and you have inspired me, too. Your posts often have me in tears, even when they’re hilariously funny (because I’m so damn grateful for your goofy sense of humour, and heartwarming ability to make fun of yourself). So, as painful as it is to feel, you ARE making a difference. Thank you!

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