I was driving home this evening, in the pouring rain, and I decided to switch lanes, to slow down so I wouldn’t hydroplane (even though I think it’s fun A.F.). I glanced over into my right sideview mirror, checking the right lane, and saw no cars, but as I was turning my head back and aiming my wheel to the right, lights flashed in my face. In that split second, I swore I was going to be struck by another car. I really thought that the lights, fragmented and blinding, hit my eyes head-on, would be my last.
And then there was darkness. And I was still breathing. Still driving. I blinked, making certain I was still there. Those lights I thought were going to hit me weren’t moving; they were only stopped very close to the edge of the road as my car slid into the right lane.
Yet in that moment, in that fraction of a second where there was only blinding brightness, my only thought was ‘I never told them.’
I never told those close to me how much I cared for them. I’m sure they know. Who wouldn’t know I care? I show it in little details, in tiny ways every day. I do those things because I want to; buy lunch for someone, give away items that I no longer need, design something for free because I want to do something nice for someone. I never expect anything in return (after all, expectation is the mother of all evil). I give. I’m a giver.
If I care about you, I only want to spend time with you… watching a movie, having a glass of wine in silence, telling stories, or just laughing. Seriously, when was the last time you spent a moment just laughing with someone, nothing else? If I care about you, I’m going to remember when you say things and give you something that relates to that. If I care, I will find your laugh contagious, your smile endearing, and your soul beautiful, whether you think it is or not. I have spent the better part of two years getting to know myself enough to find and discover this ‘giving’ side of me. It wasn’t easy and it certainly hasn’t come without resistance, but for me, it is so worth it. I give because I am kind, because I want to.
I recently spent a bit of time with a great man. This was someone I never thought in a hundred years would be anything but a friend to me, yet over the course of two months, I was taken by surprise. I was comfortable with him. He made me feel happier than I was—and I was certainly happy to be alone, but I enjoyed his company as well. In the two months before we stopped spending time together, I discovered more about him that caused me to care. I found the way he yawned when waking in the morning endearing, the way he’d tell me to drive safe and let him know when I was home sweet, the way he settled his arm over my hip at night a safety, the way he made sleep come easily to me… I thought he knew these things, these little, tiny things that made me care. But I never said, “I care for you.”
That was a mistake because I thought he knew.
I thought my family knew.
I thought my friends knew.
And maybe they do, but I have been so wrapped up in my life, my job, my mind for the last month, I never even uttered the phrase, “I care about you” to anyone. Because I haven’t had “the time” to do or say these things.
That’s all I ever wanted to give to the people I care about. Time.
Time is defined as “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.”
My time is right now, only here in the present. And I realized I’ve spent most of it thinking, wondering, being confused and frustrated by things beyond my control, people I didn’t or don’t understand, than actually spending my time with the people I care about. And it took a pair of headlights shining in my eyes to make me realize all this.
So here’s to spending time with the ones you care about, be it friend, family, or significant other… tell them you care. Time is not guaranteed to any of us. Use it wisely. Don’t hesitate. I’m going to try to take my own advice here… I hope you do the same.