I’m so sad…

I didn’t want to blog about this, because of my strict “you will not find out who I am” policy.  If I blog about this, you will not know who I am, but you will know where I live.  I think I’m fine with that.  I don’t think I know how to process this without blogging about it, because you, the reader, are who I tell my stories to.

I am so sad for what happened at Westroads.  It was here, in my city, practically walking distance from my apartment.  It was so close to where I live that on Wednesday I had to take a different exit to get home.  I am sad for the families of the eight people who were killed.  And I am so, so sad for the five people that were hurt physically, and the hundreds more people who were there and had to witness it, and now have to deal with that hurt.  I am so sad for the people who now feel unsafe walking into a mall, who feel like their world isn’t safe.  I am so sad for anyone who is dealing with their anxiety about this on their own, who doesn’t have someone to hug them and hear their concerns and reassure them.  I am so sad for anyone who feels alone in their pain tonight.

At the same time, I wonder if anyone else, or at least those of us who weren’t there or didn’t know a victim, is still feeling the hurt.  On Thursday morning people were calling the radio morning show I was listening to, sharing their tears and their feelings about the event.  I was still sort of shell shocked, I think.  Today, it feels kind of like the world has moved on, and I’m finally sad. 

I don’t mind feeling like my world is unsafe.  I mean, it’s not a comfortable feeling, but I can handle it if I know that I’m not alone in the world.  My world isn’t safe, that’s the truth.  But I won’t hide out in my apartment all the time trying to prevent anything from happening to me.  If it happens to me, I just don’t want to be alone.  Last night I was out to eat with The Boy and another friend.  I was very aware that we were in a public place, where anybody with anything hidden in their pocket could just walk in.  But at the same time, I was aware that I wasn’t scared at all.  The Boy was sitting right next to me, sharing my fries.  The three of us were there together.  No matter what would have happened, we were together.  I felt more comfortable and safer sitting there in that public place than I do in my apartment all by myself.

I’m not trying to elicit pity.  “Poor Dawn, she is all alone…”  Actually, thinking that you’ll think that makes me feel even worse.  I just hate it so much.  I can’t think of any pain that wouldn’t be made better by having someone hold your hand or give you a hug.  Just the IM conversation between Tara and myself on Wednesday night…Are you fine?/Yes, are you?/Yes, and so forth…that was the most comforting thing on Wednesday.  I might be alone in my apartment, and I might hate it, but I am not alone in the world.  I had Tara on Wednesday night, last night I had The Boy, tonight it was some friends from work, tomorrow it will be The Boy again.  I feel so incredibly sad for anyone who feels like they are alone in the world.  I feel sad for anyone who doesn’t know how to reach out for the comfort that they need.  I feel sad for anyone who knows who they would like to reach out to, but hesitates because they are afraid of being rejected.

I am terrified of the first time I have to go to the mall by myself.  Not because I’m afraid of what will happen, but because I’m afraid of something happening while I’m alone.  In my rational thought, I know I’m just as safe at the mall as anywhere else.  It’s just, that’s an environment I used to love.  On the rare moments that I wanted to be alone, the mall was the perfect place.  I could be alone without really being alone, because I could just disappear into the crowd.  The mall is like a ritual for Sarah and me.  We love to wander through our favorite stores, taking our time, looking through the clearance racks, trying on stuff we want and stuff we know we won’t want.  I hope this event hasn’t ruined that for me.  I’m positive it’s ruined the joy of wandering alone in a crowd, at least for now.  So, I guess I’m sad for me, too.

I’m categorizing this post under fearlessness, because as much as I want to be fearless, it’s easy to be fearless when I’m right next to someone I care about, but I don’t know how to be fearless alone.

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