I am FAITH. And I am so Big.
And smiled at me. And wrapped her arms around me.
And I know her smile, and what she taught me, is something I’ll never forget.
I take the same drive to work everyday…it’s about 18 miles, and takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on traffic. Everyday I pass this bridge that gives a view of the Sacramento river that is always beautiful, especially when it’s 7am and foggy. I always think to myself, I should stop and take that picture…and I never do. This week, I will.
Lately, I’ve been driving without music. And I love, LOVE to sing in the car. But lately I’m finding that there’s noise I am not aware of, until I am a little more still. So I am trying to be, a little more still. To hear this noise that runs me.
Don’t ask me if I’m meditating though…I’ve fallen off the wagon, checking my phone in the morning instead, scrolling through instagram feeds, and learning about days on FB. When I was in pharmaceutical sales, I had a lot of drive time between accounts, and I’d call my friends a lot…just to say hi…and I haven’t been doing that much anymore either. This week on my way to work I will call 5 people I love. I will say that. I love you, you know. So much.
I just took a picture of this bridge, and I wanted to call you to tell you I love you. And then, I’ll say more than what the weather is, because I’m tired with these kind of conversations, and I don’t want to waste any more time talking about things like the weather, when instead, we could be talking about how we are creating today, to be amazing.
I want to create more of the good kind of noise.
A thought that was running me today, sneaks up on me every once in a while, it happened between the bridge and my exit. And I feel weird even sharing it, but the thought was around, when I have a baby one day…will she be healthy? Even as I type it, it seems harsh and cynical. But, this is not the first time I’ve thought this. My friend who is 34, without a current partner, her OBGYN looked her very seriously in the eye and said ‘Jennifer, have you thought about freezing your eggs?’ She went on to explain how women in their 30’s are considered to be AMA, (no, not music award recipients) but rather, of advanced maternal age. And then she filled her head, and hands with brochures of all the things that could go wrong. And I have a strong feeling, that even though I wasn’t there, she probably said something about the weather that day as my friend Jen wrapped her paper gown a little bit tighter around her, wondering, should she freeze her eggs.
‘Wow is it sunny out today, have you every thought about freezing your eggs’?
I remember she told me as we sat outside have a cup of coffee, and I burst out laughing, spitting out my coffee. ‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME, FREEZE YOUR EGGS?!?!?!’ I shouted. No indoor voice at all. But then Jen, she pulls in all close for a conversation, and she says ‘I think I should do it…the risk factors are getting higher every year.’
But that conversation I think about every now and again, when I am feeling afraid of being alone. That and all the other crap that reminds me of my age, and my singleness, and apparent status of AMA.
Today was such a great day at work. I work on a team I love, like cannot get enough of. At least once a day on this team, I am laughing until I am full-out crying, hitting the deck, trying to catch my breath. The people we meet on a daily basis are extraordinary people. It’s just the nature of what I am a part of; it attracts the most amazing people.
Today, towards the end of my day…I saw a little girl running around the store. She was super quick, and we were busy, so I just kept getting glimpses of her. This was a little girl with a whole lotta spirit. I played the very same way when I was 5. I was running to the back for something and on my way back, I saw her playing on the floor in back of the store, she had pulled out all the things in the bin we have with kid stuff and it was all over the place, and she was kinda just plunked down in the center of it, her back turned toward me. I looked around but didn’t see her Mom around anywhere.
As I was grabbing what I needed, I turned to one of my co-workers, and totally judge-y, I said ‘there’s a little girl out there who’s taken like EVERYTHING out of the bin, shouldn’t the mom be like somewhere around?’
When I came back out and walked up front, the momma and the little girl were checking out. The little girl was putting multiple headbands on her head, and her mom was just totally in-it with her, laughing, putting more headbands on her head, laughing more, and the little girl was laughing so big….so so big.
This little one, she then tosses off all the ones she’s wearing and settles on a hot pink number (good choice), and she turns and smiles at me. Like so super big. And I can see at that moment that this little girl has special needs, and it wasn’t until this moment that I knew.
And she’s at about the height of my hips smiling up at me, and I am smiling the biggest smile back at her, because that’s how this kinda thing works.
‘Good CHOICE!’ I said. ‘That’s the best one’.
She says. ‘I know’.
I say, ‘want to go see what you look like in the mirror?’ And I take her little hand and walk her over to this giant mirror and she CANT GET ENOUGH of what she looks like. She’s dancing, and I’m dancing, and we’re both laughing. All the while, this little girl is wearing this pink headband like it’s a tiara made of tiffany diamonds.
We walk back, and her mom super beautiful and patient, and did I mention so so beautiful is all, ‘do you want that one baby?’
And I ask the little girl if I can see it. ‘Ooooh, can I see it??’ And she plops it in my hands, and smiles up at me.
I take the tag off and put it back in your hands. ‘A gift’. I say. ‘From us’.
She immediately puts it back on her head and is really working it now. Super inspired by all this, I do the only thing that seems appropriate to do in the moment.
Dance Party. Duh.
So I went behind the register, and I asked her, ‘ARE YOU READY? Because in 5 seconds I am going to turn the music on REALLLY LOUD and then we’re all going to dance, okay?’ (100% agrees head nodding : )
So we did that. For about 2 minutes. We turned the music up REAL loud for 30 seconds and we all went for it. Me. This little girl. This beautiful momma. My beautiful team of amazing women around me. We’d take a short break (10 seconds or so) and then, boom, right back in.
I thought about the other guests in the store, and what they might be thinking in the moment, but I knew that no one would care, really, because if you took one look at this little girl just having her moment, you’d dance too.
At the end of 2 minutes I was out of breath, and happier than I can remember being in a long time.
Her Mom, beaming, keeps thanking us for the dance party(ies), and says ‘okay Faith, we better get going, say bye to the girls!’ And I reach over to get a huge high five, which she totally landed.
But then I say, ‘oh no, this just wont do, we’re gonna need to end this with a hug’.
So I walk around and I open my arms real real big, and Faith just ran right into them, her bright pink headband slightly sideways from all the dancing. I picked her right up and gave her a squeeze to match the squeeze she was giving me.
As I’m holding her, she looks at me, and she takes her tiny little hand and points at herself. She is smiling, and laughing, and so I am I, and she takes her little hand and points to her heart and she says.
‘I am Faith. And I am so BIG!’
I said. ‘You ARE SO BIG!’
She goes. ‘I AM SO BIG! I am FAITH, and I am SO BIG!’
I squeezed her in one last time, and set her down, her two little feet touching down. She smiled back up at me one last time. Her Mom whispers to me ‘thank you. thank you for truly seeing her’
And my response came so easy ‘she saw me first’, I whispered back, ‘thank you.’ And I made eye contact with this woman, and I swear she is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, the way she celebrated joy…moved me deeply.
My day ended shortly after. I drove home. And though I felt lonely, I didn’t feel sad. I felt full and hopeful. I felt loved. I felt lonely thinking of how I don’t really have my people here, like I have lots and lots of amazing friends I’ve made, and I love my co-workers, but I don’t really have like Saturday night friends, or game-night friends, my whole life since being here in California was mostly centered around me and Paul. But I’ve yet to make the kind of friends where I would walk in, and open their refrigerators, and start making dinner…but still hope. Still love.
I walked Moose when I got home, and as we’re nearing the end of the walk, I remembered this little girl who I danced with, who ran into my arms, and how she filled up my heart, and for the first time I thought about how her name is Faith, and I stopped for a minute, and thought about that alone. Faith.
I made dinner and I poured a glass of wine, and after about half a glass started to feel a little bit drunk, and decided I didn’t want to feel a little bit drunk. I watched half an episode of mad men, and fell asleep on my couch.
When I woke up it was 2 hours later, and I was tempted to just go to bed. It was 830.
Instead I decided to light a bunch of candles, draw a bath, and put Alexi Murdoch radio on. I was still sleepy when I got into the bath. And all the noise and the feelings came to me, when I really stopped to just be still, and within a few minutes, I felt so awake and aware.
I thought about this day. And these days I’ve been having. And how rich and full they’ve been. And how it’s been just one year in California and all that has happened. Of all that is happening.
I thought about all things Faith.
And I started to cry. And release. And it surprised me at first, but then I just let it not be wrong, no wrong feeling. And I cried, and I shook, and I hugged my knees into my chest and dropped by head towards my knees. I made myself as small as I could, and all these big feelings washed right over me. It felt amazing.
My heart then started to beat so fast. You know, when you can feel your whole heart in your whole body, it was like that.
But it wasn’t panic, it was rhythm. It was fear, and it wasn’t fear. It was all of me, and that I know for sure.
And I thought about her. And her big smile. And her beautiful momma. And the grace of them. Together.
And how she told me everything I needed to know today. She taught me about faith and heart and soul.
I am faith. And I am so big.
I am faith. And I am so big.
Side note, if anyone reading this, knows of a little girl named Faith with a tall beautiful momma who left lululemon Roseville CA today, Saturday 1/24 with a bright pink headband, please tell her to come back in for a dance party. I sure hope I get to see her again.