Disclaimer: I’m feeling better. I wrote this blog when I was in the thick of some tough emotions. I decided to write this not because I want help but because it’s the most vulnerable I’ve felt in a long time and I think that the world needs more of this. I felt bad this morning and I think that moments like this deserve just as much attention as the highlights that we see so much of on social media. For those of you who follow me (or know me), you know that I’m a positive person and that infectious optimism is what I share with the world. However, I too have dark days and miserable moments. This is hard for me to share, but I can’t help but feel deep down in my heart that this is what someone needs to hear, so here it is. However, before I start, I want to thank you in advance for your attention, support, encouragement and love as you read these vulnerable words.
I didn’t wake up thinking I would.
But I cried today.
This was the day that I planned to get my (long overdue) Pennsylvania driver’s license. I woke up ready to tackle the day and before the sun was up, I was standing in line at the DMV (in the cold) 90 minutes before it opened. I was first in line and when the doors eventually opened, I was feeling good about things.
I woke up ready to tackle the day, but within a few hours, I felt like it had tackled me.
I was sent to the first window, I filled out all of the paper work and made some casual small talk with the clerk. This was a breeze. I was about to be in and out of the DMV in record time and it was going to be a good day.
“It’s time for the vision test.”
The teller’s words rung in my ears. I somehow didn’t expect that. I felt my heart pick up as I walked toward the machine. I put my forehead against the support bar, looked into the binocular lenses an read the bottom line like I was asked. When I finished reading, it was quiet. I waited for her response. She told me to read it again and I did. It was quiet again. Sensing that something was off, I asked what was wrong and there was more silence. My heart beat faster and I began to sweat as I waited for the teller to tell me what I didn’t want to hear. She told me that I hadn’t passed the vision test and that I couldn’t get a license. Both hands began to tremble and I felt pressure in my eyes as every ounce of my will kept the tears inside.
This morning I stood up tall out of bed with all of the confidence in the world. Hours later I laid on the floor of the shower as the hot water blended with the tears.
This is the punchline of this blog; as much as I want every day to be a good day, this wasn’t one of them and that’s ok. I share this story not because I want sympathy or am searching for support. Rather, I share this story because we all feel like this from time to time and it’s time we talk about it; I want you to know that you’re not alone.
I consider myself an extreme optimist full of faith and overflowing with encouragement. The large majority of my days are excellent, but every now and then, I have a dark day. Today was one of those days and I want you to know that it happens to everyone; you’re not alone.
You’re not alone.
This morning, after mom talked me down, like she always does, I realized that what happened next was up to me. With a full day of work ahead of me, I had no choice but to put things in perspective. I decided to choose gratitude, because things could be worse. You see, I can get a license. I have to jump through some hoops, but that’s doable. What made me upset this morning was the unexpected reminder that my eyesight isn’t great and that it might limit what I can do down the road.
But I knew that.
I’ve always know that.
I’m ok with that.
Everything happens for a reason.
Life is happening for us, not to us.
The lingering and ambiguous “what ifs” surrounding my sight loomed heavy on my heart this morning. But when the dust settled and the tears dried, I felt better. I remembered that I have felt this way before and that things turned out just fine. The remainder of the day gave a new meaning to the mantra that I live by; be the reason someone smiles. For the remainder of the day, I was the one who needed a smile. Patient after patient made me smile and it felt good to remember what it feels like to need a smile and get one.
I cried today.
But I’m feeling better now and I’m better off for it.
Sharing this blog was the hardest thing that I’ve done in a long time and I have to take a few lines to acknowledge that I have an amazing support system and that I wouldn’t be the person who I am without them. Thank you to everyone who supports me, encourages me and loves me. You all mean the world to me and I couldn’t be more grateful to have you in my life. I also wouldn’t be who I am without my biggest source of love and encouragement, God. There aren’t enough words to describe the magnitude of meaning that faith brings to my life.
If you feel down, alone or in need of support, whether I know you or not, I am here for you. I mean that with all of my heart and if you don’t believe me, send me a message: 908-301-6581.
Thank you for taking the time to read.
I appreciate you.
Joe Rinaldi, PT, DPT