Meteor Shower

Last year I saw a meteor shower.



I was seventeen years old, outside in the middle of the summer. My dog and I were lying on the ground at 3 AM waiting for stars that I was convinced would never come.
It was late. I was tired as hell and could barely stay awake for the life of me. To keep myself from falling asleep I decided to text a friend who I saw had posted on Instagram (a telling sign of not sleeping).
My texts are bolded, and hers are in italics.

hi
hey.
what’s up?
nothing much, why are you still up?
i could ask the same of u lol
haha
no but really
there’s supposed to be shooting stars tonight
what omg. that’s so cool
yeah. u should come watch them too.
it’ll be nice to do something at the same time, u know?
aw ok. I have a balcony I can watch from.
sweet

And our conversation carried on normally. Honestly, now that I had something to keep me up, I was a little more excited. I still wasn't convinced that the stars would come, though. All the lights in my house were turned off; I had heard that having anything bright would make the stars harder to see. It appeared that they were right. I’d never seen the stars so clearly before.




I lied on the stone of the patio behind my house and stared at the sky. My dog nudged my arm, tired and wanting to go back inside. I shushed him. He eventually went to lay down a couple yards away from me, most likely out of pettiness since I wouldn’t let him back into the house. I laughed a little and turned back to the sky. It was a beautiful night, and the dew on the grass hadn’t quite collected yet. My eyes hurt from squinting up at the dark sky, my neck strained from craning back to better see the sky, and my arms were starting to fall asleep.

My phone buzzed beside me.


we haven’t talked in awhile. how have u been?


I felt a little guilty at that. I had closed myself off to friends as my mental illnesses got worse, which I didn't know to be an unhealthy coping mechanism at the time. So I did what all depressed and anxiety-ridden (among other things) kids do and decided for myself that everyone would be better off without me.
You probably understand that, right? I know I’m not alone.
You’re wrong, though. You can’t decide for other people. You can’t read into things that aren’t facts. As my therapist says: (Bill Nye voice) Consider the Facts.



It goes like this:
Make a T-chart. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. Google is a wonderful resource.
Label one side “Facts” and the other “Inferences.”
(An inference is when you come to a conclusion by guessing; a speculation of an answer.)
Now, you take a step back in your mind and review what’s happening.
Jenny said she didn’t want to hang out today. That’s a fact and goes under the Facts column.
Jenny hates you and never wants to see you again. That’s an inference, so it belongs in the other column.
Rosie said she was angry at someone. Fact.
Rosie is mad at you and is being passive aggressive. Inference.
See?

I’ve been ok i think. It’s kinda hard to exist sometimes
yeah ik that feeling. you got this tho. I believe in u





thanks dude. i appreciate it.
i know ur probably not believing me all the way but i’m serious.
you’ve been through so much. i know u can get through this too


It’s nice. She’s nice.


She, of course, is referring to three years ago, a.k.a the hardest year of my life. My dad was in a life-changing car accident. I went into the deepest depression of my 15-year-old existence and overdosed on meds which resulted in me having to go to a mental hospital. The two of us nearly died, my dad being flown away in a helicopter to intensive care and myself to the ER with charcoal being shoved down my throat in a tube. Both of us were in a tough spot (though my dad’s was substantially worse) but….we made it through. My dad is mostly okay now, and I’m still here, still writing articles and still trying to be somewhat happy. It’ll be four years this May.



Back to the original story now.


I’m sitting on the patio of my house and I feel like crying and I type a quick reply of thank you so much and look up.
The first thought in my head was, “Oh my god.”
Because so incredibly far away above my head, miles and miles and miles into Earth’s atmosphere, the stars were falling.
They were falling so fast, only there for less than a second. If I blinked, I missed one so I kept my eyes open for minutes on end. I couldn’t miss any of them, not for all the watering eyes in the world.


Or maybe I was just crying. I couldn’t tell, because I was too busy watching the sky fall apart, couldn’t care to tell either. Everything was so beautiful and quiet and perfect and for the first time in years and suddenly I remembered that I was alive.



After years and years of not being a person in my body, of dissociating, of depression, it was a strange feeling to be truly alive.
With my head tilted back to the sky, I watched the stars fall and felt my heart soar into the night to be with those bright lights. I realized something very, very important that night.

I figured out that if everything that had ever happened to me (the pain, the sadness, the overdosing, the accident, the hurt and the suffering that I went through) led up to this exact moment, to me sitting on the cold stone of the patio on this warm summer night, watching stars fall from the sky and crying tears of unbelievable joy….then I was thankful.





I was thankful for the good, for the bad, and every other thing that happened in between. Because all of it led up to this feeling I had, this absolutely amazing feeling of pure happiness and love for everything. And do you know what? I still think about it. When I feel awful, I remember that night, I hold on to it with a vice-like grip and I do not let go, not under any circumstances.



So do you want to know my advice to you?
Find that moment. Find that moment when you felt truly happy, even if it was a long time ago. And if you don’t have one you can truly latch on to then make one.
Call your friends, and tell people you love them; don’t give up on your life before it’s even started.





And please, please never forget:


Text by Charlie Reynolds
Screenshots taken from Spacemail

2 comments

  1. this is one of my favorite pieces on this site. i cried.
    thank you for this. very much.

    ReplyDelete
  2. this was so beautiful, from start to finish! nice work oh my goodness

    ReplyDelete