Dark and dreary I enter a maze. The walls are concrete, cold, and grey. As I proceed to walk, the light is softening and getting brighter. The walls turn to windows to what appears to be front row seats to the lives of different people. On one side of the maze I look into a window that shows a couple full of love and adoration. Smiling and twinkling eyes. On the other side is a room with a family full of life and laughter. The next window is full of friends sharing a meal, joking and toasting to their friendship. Yet another window shows a room of creative collaboration amongst colleagues feeding off of each other’s ideas. Room after room full of life, thriving, moving forward, passion and excitement, I couldn’t help but feel jealous and envious. Wondering what my window looked like, wishing it looked like all of theirs. I kept walking with a knot in my stomach and the ache of disappointment taking over my body.
As I kept walking, the lights grew dim, and new windows lined the walls. One window exposed a hospital room with a bald woman in the bed and her husband by her side, holding her hand. Another window peered into a room with a family where the mom and dad are yelling while the kids cover their ears. Yet another room shows a group of friends crying and talking in a circle as if going through an intervention for one of them. As my heart starts to break for all of these people, and the compassion in my heart overwhelms me, it dawns on me that these are the same people that were in the previous windows. The windows of happy lives. Confused at this revelation, I continue down the maze.
A new window appears. I look through it and see myself. I am with family enjoying a meal at a restaurant. Looks like we are having fun. From my view we are one of those happy, loving, full of life families like I saw earlier. I never thought of my life that way. There had been so much hurt. So many disappointments. As I look across the room, I see a window on the other side. I see someone looking in at me and my family. I recognize the look on the viewer’s face. A little bit of envy, a little bit of longing. Wait, I get it. I understand. I have to get to her. I need to tell her. I start walking fast down the hall, my walk turning into a run feeling the urgency rise in me. I had to tell her that it’s not always that way. That my life has ups and downs. That instead of looking and seeing my life as a still picture frozen in time or a scene playing on repeat, that it’s ever changing. It’s a journey that has good and bad, and that no matter how bad it may seem sometimes, that there is always hope, she just has to walk down to the next window and see.