Through Her Eyes
One of the things I've come to respect about Chili is her passion. She is woman who can voice an opinion stronger than Oprah, multi-task better than Martha Stewart and swear worse than Gary Busey. But through and through, she is passionate.
She and her family drove from New England to witness history this week. On Tuesday, they woke at 5:30 AM and jumped on Metro within 30 minutes, heading downtown. Twenty degrees and a few granola bars in their pockets; she, her husband and two kids each took off wearing two pairs of socks, two hats, gloves and more layers than I could count. They crammed onto Metro cars, squeezed up escalators, walked several blocks and stood shoulder to shoulder with thousands of new friends.
As we were planning the activities in our family room the night before, the TV was playing with weather and transportation updates. All of sudden, Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech played...and she teared up. Another segment aired a little while later...and she cried again. The next day as they recounted their experience and how it fulfilled everything she hoped for, she choked up once more.
As she welled with emotion over the two days, I could not have been happier for her. But I realized at the same time...I have never felt that same passion about anything (aside from maybe my family and dear friends). The inauguration was amazing; for what it represented and what other people felt. I was thrilled for her happiness, but I could not create those same feelings inside.
These are the moments when I realize how emotionally divested I've become over the years. I can celebrate other's joys and sadness, but rarely will it affect me personally. I no longer cry at funerals or movies. It's difficult for me to stay engaged in activities beyond a few months. I don't even get worked up when Sally Struthers talks about the starving children (though much of that stems from my belief that she's eating a large portion of the food herself).
Watching Chili's laughter and reflection made me realize how much I miss that in myself. It was there inside me at one point...but somewhere, has slowly gone. I appreciate it in others, but none of these feelings exist deep down. Who knows if it's the speed at which life is going or some scarring over the years that has made me this jaded.
Regardless, it was nice to be a part of that passion this week. Living this event through her was probably the best way to experience something so historic and memorable. She thanked me over and over for what a magical experience it was, but I think it was I who got the better end of the deal.
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