Standing Nonetheless

Today I had a very brief but heart-warming encounter with a little girl in the street. Walking back home this evening, I came upon a family group getting out of a car. They were obviously visiting someone close to them who had a birthday: one of them held a cake box, another had gifts. Amongst them, stood in the middle of the pavement, was a little girl of about five. She was holding, with both hands, the most enormous bunch of red roses, beautifully wrapped with ribbon. As I reached her and waited for a space to move along the path, she looked up at me with such a glorious smile – as bright and as wide as any I have seen – and said a big and enthusiastic ‘Hello!’, as if she had known me always and was utterly delighted to see me.

I had been feeling low all day; applying for jobs that I have no confidence in getting; juggling my lack of financial security with the absence of a place to live, resulting in the gnawing fear that I will not be able to materialise either… In the process, I had become horribly internalized, tightly circling my worries, closing down on the world outside. That little girl’s sheer joy  to see me – a complete stranger – was a jolt back into life for one wonderful moment; one little trusting and fearless face reminding me, for just a second, that I needed to step out of myself and stare pure joy in the eyes.

I am so damn tired all the time! The emotional strain of these last couple of weeks, coupled with the pressure to sort out the logistics of living and surviving after separating from my husband, have been tough to deal with. I have been floundering in my own shallows, wondering if all this frantic psychological flapping will reach a current that will propel me onwards into a happy and secure future. I am scared I will just remain flapping and exhaust myself, or worse, eventually suffocate. Friends advise that these are natural and normal fears given the circumstances; that this is early days and to take my time and be gentle with myself when I am feeling less than strong and capable. Sound advice and yet hard to feel amongst all the chaos and confusion.

Today gifted me with a moment to draw on during the inevitable times of emotional slump and slide. The little girl’s exuberant expression keeps poking at the raw edge of my tiredness and fear – it says that despite how I might be perceiving things, the world is really a lot of fun if you let it be; that passion and love still count for something, despite poverty, uncertainty or any number of struggles that one might face. Life can kick the feet out from beneath you but one bunch of vibrant roses and a child’s happiness, innocence and trust can help you to know that you still stand, admittedly on shaky ground, but standing nonetheless.




  1. Lindsey Segerberg said,

    October 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Hello Maria

    I enjoy reading your entries, you write with such eloquence, openness and honesty. Some of the things you voice I can readily identify with and make me feel that I am not alone. During this difficult time in your life, remember that you and your writing make a difference to people. What am amazing experience that the little girl provided – like an angel appearing in your time of need. Maybe she had known you always …
    I hope things work out for you Maria.
    Take care
    Lindsey xx

  2. luckyloom1 said,

    October 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Thank you so much Lindsey! That is really lovely to know – it means a great deal to me. Much love, M xxx

  3. Christina Cronk said,

    October 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    There’s a song that I’ve had in my head through most of this (as it seems we are going through similar experience at the moment) by Ingrid Michaelson called “Breathing”- All we can do is keep breathing. It’s a place to start.

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