Saturday, May 27, 2017

What if.........

Imagine just for a minute if you could be someone else.

If you weren't you.

If you hadn't had all the amazing stuff happen to you in your life...or the bad or sad stuff…if you're like me.

Would you choose to swap lives with someone else? Would you want to change your story?

This week, Dempsey has been on camp in the big smoke. It’s been difficult to cut the apron strings and not worry about where she is and what she’s doing, wandering around a big city….

The fear of losing her too simmers just beneath the surface, a deep seeded anxiety that I battle with, borne through grief and losing her sister Savannah. But I’m working on this demon. I know I’m a work in progress….and that’s ok too.

Anyway, yesterday, as I arrived at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, where her classroom is to pick her up, I had half an hour to waste. I noticed a big green emblem, a familiar symbol, like an old friend, the green sign of Starbucks was like a beacon calling me in.

As I pulled open the grimy glass door, the bitter aroma of coffee hit me, along with the humming of small talk and the welcoming sight of muffins bulging with chocolate chips and blueberries staring at me through the glass counter. Over the noise of grinding coffee beans I ordered my flat white. The smiling girl in the green apron asking me my name to write on my cup.

And for a second I stood there and thought--what if I told her a different name? 

What if I invented a new name? A new name-a new identity? 

What if I picked up someone else’s cup and became them?

I know some days when Savannah was dying, watching her in pain and feeling so helpless, I would’ve stolen someone else's cup in a heartbeat.  But now?


As I stood in line, waiting, I contemplated this.

What if I had the opportunity to exchange all that I’ve experienced, exchanged in a second for one `that's filled with everything I desire, without all the sad moments of my life?

As I was picturing this, a notification lit up my phone. ‘Snapchat from Charlotte’, my niece. Her pretty face filled my screen with the message, ‘can't wait to talk to you about something that's happened’ and then it buzzed again, from her twin Emerald, snapping me  with a photo of a blister on her thumb from writing her English exam. And it made me think--if I wasn't me I wouldn't have them….

I wouldn’t be sitting here sipping my Starbucks, writing this on my Evernote app in the warm sunshine waiting for my baby to finish her class for the week at Etihad stadium.

If I wasn’t me, I wouldn’t have the absolute joy of Dempsey!

Watching strangers pass by, I noticed a lady with a leash with a guide dog in training, a pretty girl sitting behind me with Lucy on her necklace, smiling at her phone at a message she'd probably received. 

I realised they’ve all got different stories to mine….but I wouldn't swap my life for anyone's.

With its ups and downs, scars and memories, laughter and tears, I realise I’ve earned these invisible scars, and the laugh lines and the love my life is full of. They’re mine. And along the way, my experiences have taught me to be grateful and to notice the little things that fill my blue cup with sunshine that I wouldn’t have noticed before.

Yes, there's many gifts intertwined in our lives. Some good. Some bad. But these are our teachers. Educating us to grow and accept and to be mindful that in a heartbeat, life can spin on a dime. Changing the life you had into something so foreign you don’t think you’ll survive.

But you do.

Because these bites from our lives remind us to sip the coffee slower, and feel the sunshine warming your back, to listen to the laughter and to be grateful for our own unique experience that can turn challenges into lessons, gaining mindfulness for simply being alive…..they make us who we are!

What would you do….would you change your cup? x 

*this post is for Scott Davidson, who inspired me with his story x