Recently, I accidentally (or coincidentally, which ever way I shall choose to perceive it) overheard a private conversation being had by two women (about my age) who were having a rummage sale that I happened to stumble across this past weekend. While they were chatting away at what seemed to be a very serious and private conversation, my ears caught interest in the topic of discussion and became very attentive to their conversation. Some of you may be thinking shame on you Nichole! I have to admit I did feel bad at first for listening in on these women BUT at the same time I was very interested in hearing two random strangers talk about their circumstances. Can you guess the topic they were having a conversation about? If you said infertility and IVF you guessed correctly. Now I know they probably didn’t realize anyone was listening or even cared about what they were talking about. They most certainly didn’t know that the random stranger looking at all their treasures in that very moment, in their garage, had walked a mile in their shoes before either. I so badly wanted to chime in on their conversation, I really did…but, I didn’t.
It truly was that scenario where you don’t want to let the people who were talking about something so private, know that you overheard what they were saying. Especially because you never know how open a person is about that topic with a complete stranger. I guess I was kinda sorta eavesdropping too, and who really wants to admit they were doing that? It really is bad manners, I know. Yet, at the same time, I felt like in that instant my cup had overfilled with that “me too” feeling and it was weighing heavily on my heart to share this with them…but, I didn’t.
Instead, I walked up to their table and bought a couple of the clothing items they had been selling. I smiled at them as I approached them, as they both fell silent and instead asked how their sale was going and made other small talk with them. I kept feeling this nudging feeling to admit I had overheard their conversation and I wanted to ask more questions and also share with them some smaller details of my struggles…but, I didn’t.
As I sit here today and think about that moment in my weekend, it is clearly one that stood out to me and I can’t stop thinking about what if I had went up to them and said, “me too”. What if I had reached out to them and asked more questions or shared my story or said I know I’m a complete stranger, but I’m here if you need to talk? What if…?! Regret is a funny thing, no matter how big or how small. Looking back, I wonder what I was afraid of and why I couldn’t be more bold in that circumstance? I’m trying to reflect on this moment today and I am still at a loss as to why I can’t stop thinking about it and why it’s been weighing on my heart?
There were so many moments in my infertility/IVF journey that I felt alone and wished someone had reached out to me, wished there was someone tangible to go to, to hang out with to get my mind of things or be a shoulder to cry on and could have been my rock or my guiding light. Maybe this is why I can’t stop thinking about it. Part of me feels like I turned my back to a circumstance where I could have been beneficial to someone else and I didn’t open my heart to them. Yet, I was afraid because maybe they would have looked at me funny or thought why is this stranger telling us this, if I had opened up. I guess it was just hard knowing what to do, so instead I did nothing.
What would you have done in this scenario? Have you ever had any …but, I didn’t situations in your life?