"I See You"

Photo by  Jose A.Thompson

I’ve spent the past several months in the midst of a situation in which I haven’t felt seen. Regardless of how much I put into this situation, it doesn’t seem to matter or change. All of this has come to a head in the past month and the situation is now spiraling toward its natural conclusion. It’s not a devastating situation—my past relationship taught me to have a no tolerance policy about this sort of treatment, regardless of what realm of life it occurs in. I’ve got it under control. I know what to do. But it still sucks and it still feels shitty whenever you invest yourself in something, only to be given the message that you don’t really matter that much or command common respect and acknowledgement. Luckily, I now know better than to tolerate this sort of treatment once it makes itself apparent in hopes it will somehow “get better.” Fuck that. However, it’s still difficult not to let events like this color your view of the world in some way.

In the midst of all of this, I went to yoga class today. As I signed in, the owner told me he wanted to speak to me at some point this week. He and I have often discussed our shared experience in the Boston yoga scene and studio management issues (since I used to manage a yoga studio). I figured that whatever he wanted to talk about involved some sort of request along those lines. Which, by the way, I would be more than happy to oblige. I love this guy, I adore the studio, and it’s been an incredible gift to have this particular yoga studio located in the same building where I live.

I left class quickly to go walk Scout. As we rounded back home, I saw the studio owner crossing the street to go to his car. “Hey!” I called out to him. “Great class!” He jogged across the street to meet us.

“Nikki,” he said, “I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I don’t want you to pay to come to class.”

“Amazing!” I replied. “Do you want me to do some sort of work-study or pitch in around the studio? I can help out with newsletters, too.”

“No, no, no,” he said, shaking his head vigorously. “You’ve got your hands full with Izzy and Scout and work. I see you. I don’t want anything in return. You’re our neighbor and it’s just important to me that you are part of our community. I feel in my heart that I just want to give this to you.”

With that, he gave me a hug and jogged away.

Tears pricked my eyes. I have recently been contemplating some big changes and, with that, trying to figure out how I could justify continuing to pay for yoga. Like most yoga studios, this one isn’t cheap. At the same time, I also know these changes mean I’ll need yoga more than ever. But, of course, this guy knows nothing about any of that.

Life is strange, and sometimes discouraging. Life is also equal parts beautiful, and so are people. Sometimes the people who it seems should see you fail to. But, also, there are those who you would never expect it from that are quietly seeing you from afar.