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Look Up & Look Out

Take me out of the picture I am about to describe to you. It’s not about me but I’ll leave it in first person.
February 25, 2014 around 1:30pm…

I’m sitting in the hallway, right after lunch with my new buddy who just wrote the previous post titled “Preamble”. We are done with our expedition for today and I just reviewed his post from our last expedition. He leaves.

I stay, to continue working and from the corner of my left eye, I see a girl walking hurriedly. The sound of heavy sobbing accompanying her quick gait alerts me. I glance at her immediately and notice that her eyes and cheeks are flushed red so I sit up. Everyone around me (about 4 people) is so engrossed in their work that they barely notice this girl walking past them. Even those close to where she walked past don’t bat an eyelash in her direction.

I listen carefully as her footsteps fade away and as I’m wondering where she’s heading to, I suddenly hear a deafening shriek. It sounds like it’s coming from the bathroom around the corner so I get up, drop my laptop and look at everyone – still engrossed in their work. I take careful steps to the bathroom and open the door gently. She is at the other end of the bathroom and I have just interrupted her moment. It seems like she has been pacing up and down frantically. I am careful to maintain a certain distance, lest I provoke any unwanted burst of emotion from her. She still seems burdened with emotion and on seeing me, she calms down and heads to the sink to rinse her face. I stand at the next sink and allow her regain some composure before saying anything. Then I speak up. She throws her hands up in the air, trying to put some words together but what comes out instead is “I don’t know how to explain”. I pause and tell her to take her time. She sobs a bit more then rinses her face again. I completely understand her unwillingness or inability to share her troubles. I am a stranger.
She sobs even more before wiping her hands and face then heads out the door.
______________________

Suicide rates are high among college students for a reason – people feel alone and either have no one to confide in or feel that no one cares enough to listen to their rants. Although this young lady’s moment may have been interrupted, I’m happy to know that someone cared enough to act in a way that prevented her from hurting herself (even if it was a mere thought) thereby restoring her faith in humanity. That’s all there is to this story.

It is easy for us to get carried away by our work and situations, so much that we don’t notice what others around are going through. I may not have solved this girl’s problems. Frankly, I did not even know what the problem was but I hope she gets better. I hope she finds someone she can confide in. Once in a while, please look up, look around and look out for someone. It is not always about you.

P.S. Her class just ended and she walked past me right after I typed that last line. I’m happy she let out a faint smile as I told her “feel better”.  It’s the little things…

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