Tom… £ I

I woke up Friday afternoon (the 14th) with bags under my eyes. As I looked into my reflection, I felt my body decaying… Exhaustion overcame me, but it was worth it. After walking miles and miles around the city and then a bazillion more towards where I stayed for the night, sleep was something I needed and craved, but I wanted to remain awake. I felt on edge as if I would miss something. A few hours later when my friend finally woke up, we finished watching The Wizzard of Oz (which we started the previous night) then proceeded to watch a French (we’re both trying to learn French in a way) show on youtube for the remainder of the day. The show was called Extra and it was cheesy and entertaining… kind of like the show Friends. It was a very relaxing day and much needed. Around 6 pm we headed back into the city towards Trafalgar Square, where we met with Newbold students and church friends to partake in Homeless Ministry. I had been wanting to tag along with the group for a while and was excited to finally join, visit people in need, and wander around the city some more. I, of course, invited my friend to tag along and so we wandered. At least this time we had a functioning phone with directions. That’s always good. I didn’t get lost or go to sleep with my feet aching that night, but I did meet Tom.

Tom was the first homeless person we approached. Newbold people already had things with them such as socks, coffee, gloves, soup, and sandwiches, as well as other toiletries and he took some soup, I think, He was my favorite person to chat with that night. He told me about England’s secrets, London’s diverse culture, and why living in London is so much better than living in the countryside (I completely agreed with him but didn’t say much, I just sat there smiling like a strange being), he talked about his life, told us he loved us, and after about 30 minutes to get on our way. Tom is such a wholeheartedly beautiful old man. Although he doesn’t have a physical home, he made little homes in people’s hearts by loving them and being positive in his situation. I love that(: We had to leave, go to another street and try to bless others so we got ready to do so… as we said farewell to him, he called himself selfish for not wanting to share us. I couldn’t fathom why or how someone could see themselves as selfish for wanting to spend time with people. Still, his words stayed with me throughout the night. We then met Dave, Grace, and a few other amazing people along our walk. I shall never get tired of wandering London and there is so much of it that I still have not seen. So we kept going, I kept wishing to make a difference and had three pieces of chocolate near the end of the night. Tom had no permanent home, yet loved life. I do and I don’t often stop to smell my life as I ought to.

I wondered to myself the other day why it’s easier to think of negative things than positive things. At times it has been easier for me to be downcast than for me to be happy. It probably should not be like that. It’s not exactly a healthy way to live. There have been tons of articles, stories, books, and movies related to depression and how to combat it. but do any of these things actually work? Depression is a real thing, it’s alive and it attacks people like a virus. The results, effects, and the aftermath of depression are all pretty indescribably awful… I cannot even begin to describe any of them. So, I’ve wondered, is there anything to do to get out of it? Or is it harder to stop, get out of the cycle of thinking negatively, and be live contently than to stay downcast about everything in your life? It is definitely doable but is it attainable for everyone?

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