I sat on my connecting flight from Denver to Oakland amazed by the woman who sat next to me. She was beautiful, successful and very interesting. Nearing her second trimester, you could barely tell she was even pregnant. She had such a positive air about her that I was shocked when she told me her husband who she had been with eight years had left her. As we chatted I wondered what could possess a man to practically abandon his pregnant wife. And I wondered how she could appear so calm, strong and pulled together.
Somehow we got on the topic of me. She commented that I appeared to be such a positive person. (And most days I do feel very positive. I don't have much, but I've been blessed with a full life.) I continued to tell her that it came at a price. I described to her how a year ago my boyfriend, who had bought an engagement ring, decided not to propose, then subsequently decided he had never loved me. And how I was devasted and how much it took to repair my life after that. Most of the time it amazes me how happy I became as a result of such a shattering event in my life. My faith definitely carried me through it, but I also had a secret weapon. There is a book called How to Fall Out of Love, that I secretly kept in my laptop bag for months, referring to it whenever I was on the verge of tears. It's a practical book written by a therapist that methodically goes through ways of overcoming the disappointment of breakups. Honestly, I'm so embarrassed I own the book that I have a cover on it so no one knows what I'm reading.
So as I sat there with this woman who's struggling trying to figure out how to raise her baby alone while dealing with her heartbreak, I felt compelled to give her my embarrassing self-help book, which was still in my laptop bag. I just finished reading 29 Gifts by Cami Walker on the plane so it felt natural to give her the gift of that book that helped me so much when I was dealing with heartbreak. She started reading it on the plane, and I could tell it was already starting to help her.
The truth is...outlook is key. I believe it's so important to read and connect with people; it expands your mind and perspective on your own life. Both are really quite invaluable.