< Write! Write!
There’s no better way to put it.
I went through a traumatic time in my life that I thought I’d never be free from. Day in day out, I was miserable with little bouts of happiness in between.
I tried therapy, groups, ice cream (never underestimate the power of coffee flavored ice cream), and very stupidly … alcoholism.
Nothing really ever seemed to get me anywhere, at least not where I was needing to be. Though I still haven’t given up on the ice cream.
Then at a Chinese food restaurant that I’d been going to for years, I had a flash of light hit me in the form of a little old Chinese man. He’d been waiting tables at the restaurant ever since I’d been coming in there for almost eight years. He didn’t speak much English and walked very slowly. The hostess would see me to my table and hand me a menu, (I always sat at the same table, same seat, just overlooking a garden that was just outside the window) and this little old waiter would come over to take my order. In the beginning, when I first started eating at the restaurant, he didn’t know what I wanted to order. I would tell him what I wanted and then he would look at me with a puzzled look on his face. I would tell him again, and the same look was returned, almost like the look your dog gives you, if you make a strange sound.
Eventually, he would take out a pen and pad from his pocket, hand it to me, and say (just a little too loud) WRITE IT DOWN!
For his age I guess that his hearing, his sight, or his mind, weren’t what they use to be. But he would take the pad and walk back to the kitchen and then there was a lot of LOUD Chinese spoken. And my order was never wrong.
This only happen for about six months, until he started to recognize me as I walked in.
After that, I would be seated and I just waited. The he would come to my table pushing his cart with my order.
I only ordered a few different combinations off the menu, and he would bring me which ever he chose for that day. When he got to the table he would simply say with a smile, “You like this! You like this!” And he was right. I always did.
When things weren’t going the best in my world, the days I spent at the restaurant gazing out the window at the garden and crying into my bowl of rice. The old man would come by my table and put his hand on my shoulder, smile, and say, “You be okay.” Then he would just walk away.
This happen a few times. Then, one day, as he’d done before, he put his hand on my shoulder, but said nothing. I looked up at his smiling face, and he said in a soft voice, “Write it down. Tell paper what worries you. Write it down.” And then he walked away.
That day I started writing. Crying and writing. Writing and crying.
And then … I was just … writing.
A little old man, that I only knew as Shu, the waiter at my favorite Chinese food restaurant, had given me the best advice that anyone had ever given me.
So I now pass on these words of wisdom to you.
“Write it down. Tell paper what worries you. Write it down.”
I could have chosen this article to be under the category of “Journaling,” but it’s not just journaling. For me, it’s something that helps me through the everyday woes in life.