The second lesson and perhaps one that has stayed with me my entire life was acceptance. I never really fit in in high school because I was the South Florida transplant in a little southern town called Midlothian,Virginia. I was blonde hair, green eyes, tanned skin surfer girl amoung the Kelly Bundy look a-likes with the teased 80’s hair, Lee Press On nails and heavy eyeliner. I didn’t exactly blend. But this writer, for whatever reason, and despite his own cool factor, didn’t seem to care how different I was and one day I invited him over to watch Shakespeare on PBS right before I had decided to move back to Florida.
He knew I was leaving and I am not sure if that prompted him to agree to come or if it was the Shakespeare…but he brought with him a gift that I have kept for 22 years. It has been with me through marriage, divorce, homelessness and many moves. It is the first thing I would grab in a fire. It is a very simple crystal ball on a brass stand. He said he saw it and thought of me. It was the very first gift I ever remember receiving that wasn’t out of parental obligation during a birthday or holiday and it suit me to a T.I can remember looking at it and swelling inside because someone…finally…got…ME!
I know that in his teenage mind, it was probably just a gift, a gesture, but to me… it was EVERYTHING. It taught me to give from the heart and if something reminds you of someone, get it, give it. Because the gesture itself may seem small, but you have no idea the effect it has to that person’s heart. So whenever I am at war with myself, or I start to feel like no one understands me, I look at that crystal ball and I am reminded that for a brief moment, someone was thinking of me and that is all that matters.