Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Red Robins…

I was still in college trying to graduate and seemed to be frustrated at every turn. I lived alone and spent most of my time working and going to school, in short, just trying to make ends meet and somehow lay a foundation for my future. In reality, I had no idea where I was going or what I was going to do in the long run. I had big dreams, big hopes, but for the moment I really couldn't see beyond the immediate needs of rent and finishing my degree. There was no time for networking, let alone socializing. I had no social life. At the time, I was working an average of 12 hours a day and in school full time. There was no one to take care of me or share the burden. I was on my own. All I knew was if I could finish, life would be easier. I just needed to keep moving.

It was the middle of winter. My network of friends had disbanded and moved on with their lives as so often happens. Feeling left behind, I became more and more isolated, spending more and more time alone. I became increasingly frustrated. I had always been taught hard work brings results and if you played by the rules everything would fall into place. Work now, play later. But all I knew was work. I wanted to play, to enjoy life. I couldn't understand why things had to be so hard. As days became weeks and weeks melded into months, I began to see myself in the barren little tree that stood just outside my window. Like me, it just stood there, day after day, lifeless against a grayed sky.

One dreary afternoon, I was feeling particularly sorry for myself. I came home once again to a cold and empty apartment (I couldn't afford the heat). I hadn't been sleeping well, terrified of the peeping tom that had been lurking around my windows and now my car needed repairs. How was I going to pay for my classes? I collapsed in a massive heap on the floor raging against the unseen. I was the responsible one. I always did what was expected, played by the rules. Why was I trapped?? I simply didn't understand. What did I do wrong??

In the midst of my sobs, the sound of birds drew my attention to the window. I looked up. The little barren tree was full of robins. There must have been a least a dozen of them. I had never seen even one robin before let alone so many. But there they were, red breasts full and vibrant and singing. For me, the message was clear. I pulled myself up off the floor, stood up and dried my tears. I needed to keep moving. Everything would be alright. Spring was coming.

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