My no-good, very-weird, 16th Street encounter.

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So yesterday was a pretty nice day, I didn’t have too much going on, and I wanted to go search Barnes & Noble for a book…so I decided to hit up 16th Street Mall! I haven’t really gone anywhere near there because it’s always mobbed with people, and this girl doesn’t do parallel parking THAT well, yet. But I decided, why not?

It’s actually an awesome strip, with tons of stores and restaurants, varying from chains to local places. I spent a lot of time just wandering around and just people-watching. The mall (which is outside) actually has pianos outside that are free for anyone to sit down and play. I actually struck up  a conversation with a man that had gone to Berkeley for classical piano, and through some tragic events, ended up homeless on the streets of Denver.He goes to the mall everyday to play and hope he brings some joy to people listening.

NEVER would I have ever thought I would just take the time to sit and listen to a homeless person share their story out of interest, but I don’t know…I feel like this city has changed me. I bought him Subway after that…. it was the least I could do, after he played me a Beethoven Sonata.

As I continued down the mall, I could see somehow walking towards me. Excuse me, not walking, speed walking. Somewhere between jogging and running. I have only seen one person who moves that way. I will refer to her as A…. I knew her from my past stay at ERC. She was an older woman who would CONSISTENTLY pace up and down the hallway, always “just checking” the doors, or “just looking” for something… anything. I called BS on that pretty fast, because I knew that game. That had been me my first stay there…. any movement was necessary. But I could distance myself from her, because I knew this past stay that pacing didn’t get me anywhere…. except it got me tons of hate from other patients and a Bodybug. So yeah.

 

However, I realized this woman coming towards me was A. In my mind, I knew I should’ve kept walking, but something compelled me to say hi. I stopped her and she looked slightly confused…but then her face lit up and these words followed: “Oh my god Kenna hi!!! You’ve lost so much weight!! Ugh I”m so jealous, you look great. I have to stay at XX pounds or I have to go back. You look amazing. I have to go. Congratulations!”

 

And just like that, she was off walking again.

I was floored. What the hell just happened? How could so much come out of someone’s mouth so fast? What was I supposed to do with what she just told me? WHAT THE F***?

And my next reaction shocked me even more.

Instead of feeling proud or happy that someone noticed I may have been struggling, or thoughts congratulating me….. I felt sad. For so many reasons. I was sad she thought of struggling as something to congratulate. That she was violently pacing up and down the mall on a gorgeous day. That she seemed so distant. I was sad that it seemed ERC had not changed her at all. Now every treatment program is different, and everyone responds to things differently… I understand and respect that. But ERC truly saved my life. And I believe those close to me (family, friends) can agree. Even though I had to return, it’s not because the program had “failed me”… I had failed me and I needed to be reminded as to what I value. 

I called a friend of mine and was able to process it. She was really helpful and let me know how proud she was of me of how I handled that situation.

And you know what? I had a great rest of the day! I went out to see “Begin Again” with one of my guy co-workers. It was such a great movie and we had such a great time! We got drinks afterwards (because I am 21 and an adult 😉 ) and then went and harassed our co-workers at the good old ‘Bucks.

I’m actually amazed at how good I feel. Maybe that won’t last..who knows? I’ll bask in it for now.

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