I spent $19 because I needed to honor the journey of the past few weeks. A journey that has been far from easy, and really far from over. When I run 26.2 or 13.1 miles in a race, there is a medal to hang on the wall in celebration. It declares that I survived and made it all the way to the starting line and then all the way to the finish line. Maybe I ran. Maybe I walked. Maybe I had to limp. But I made it.
There’s no volunteer handing out medals in real life so sometimes you have to spend $19 to buy one.
I needed something to cover with fingerprints, declaring that this is mine. This gold star is tiny, strong, and mine. It is a little glitter of light in the world that I will hold onto, even clutch desperately, when I need that reminder to be a light for others. When I have been kicked in the whatever and cannot (or at least should not) kick back. When a negligent driver speeds onto the highway while another driver and I deal with the literal wreckage he left behind. When a boy crushes the very beginnings of a story. When unanswered emails leave the future coming with no warning of what it’s bringing. When the shadows of an old friendship haunt the living once again.
Life does not give us all of the gold stars we should receive for being awesome. So there are days when the best thing ever is to spend $19 and get one yourself.
PS – A dozen attempts went into take the picture for this post, but every time they turned out blurry as I couldn’t breathe deep enough and be still enough. After the twelfth try, I accepted that this little light is blurry right now. And that seems about right.