A-void
2 min readMar 9, 2024

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46¢

There was a morning last year. Pretty normal, stopped in the 7–11 to grab some things like usual. As I waited, a woman was trying to buy some bananas. They totalled 46¢. Her card declined. She was obviously crestfallen and was about to put them back when I stepped beside her and told her I would get them.

“Really?”

“Yes it’s fine, grab as many as you want”.

She happily did, and after some profuse ‘thank yous’, we went out separate ways. Two strangers that shared a nice interaction.

I’ve been thinking about this moment. I was recently moved back to NJ, continuing in a field I didn’t like (and still am in), generally feeling sorry for myself. This moment smacked me right in the face and my internal dialogue (which is getting ever stronger as I wrestle with increasing inner unrest) started piping up.

‘Why the fuck are you complaining? There’s people out here that can’t afford fucking bananas and you have the gall to complain and feel sorry for yourself’

‘Yea but it’s all relative. She’s on that level of struggle, I’m struggling in different ways’

‘Yea but your level of struggle isn’t not being able to FEED YOURSELF’

‘Yea but my struggle is about the standards I’m setting for myself knowing what I’m capable of and not reaching them, and generally being unhappy about where I’m at’

‘Yea but-’

And on and on and on. The only way to get out of contextualizing it to myself and turning it into a mental and emotional battle between the above trains of thought, was to take a lesson out of it. And that lesson is: despite the unhappiness that one may feel, despite the perceived inadequacy, or shame, guilt, despair, or whatever other invader is looking to tear down your house, remain steadfast. In your compassion, in your empathy, in your connection to human decency. In this way, you take these thoughts away from a personal context where they can be used for comparison, and instead place them in a more positive and personal growth-oriented space. That foundation of compassion grows stronger.

This moment felt like one of those signals from the universe that remind you of the path you should tread that is likely to result in the change you seek. I’m currently seeking change. It might not come for a long long time, but all I can do is remain true to the reality of the common experience, and try as hard as I can to speak, act, and think with love. Sometimes love rings up as 46 cents.

-A

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A-void

Sometimes think that I'm completely off, sometimes feel like I'm one of the sanest people alive. Let's see what's more likely.