Filling the Cracks

It's winter outside. And somehow I'd forgotten how dang cold it gets in Korea during the winter. I mean, I was only freezing my butt off at my wedding in February, but returning in August completely erased my memory of all wind chills and snowy sidewalks. But the wind is back.

The wind? Not my favorite. The wind has a way of reminding me that I do not know how to keep it out. I will get dressed in my cozy, warm apartment and think that I have all my bases covered. I'm layering, I'm wearing my heavy coat, wearing my lined boots, remembering my polar bear hat. But the wind lets me know otherwise. It comes in through the cracks, baring weak spots with a shocking icy sting. And I remember I've left my scarf because the wind is saying hello to my neck. I've forgotten my gloves because somehow the wind is holding hands with me in my pocket and fingering my wrists. I make a mental note to search again for my lost long underwear because these jeans are not cutting it. The wind is just ignoring them, acting like they do not exist.

Last night I was sitting at the bus stop with Kenny. Apparently, the wind was feeling neglected and was trying to get our attention by doing some crazy dance through all the tiny cracks in our winter attire. I was running my mouth, as usual. Talking about some things that had annoyed me throughout the day, mentioning how some of my coworkers were really great and I was enjoying working with these people, and then complaining a bit about some acquaintances who make me feel awkward sometimes. And then, Kenny stops me. And he says, "Danielle, I know you don't mean to do it, but you are like that sometimes. You know how you complain about people talking on the bus? Or whispering around you? Or excluding people on the sly in conversation by talking about something they're not familiar with or able to discuss? Sometimes you do that. I'm not saying it to hurt you, and you don't do it on purpose. But I thought you should know."

And dang it if those words weren't colder than the winter wind. His observations cut straight through my thick coat and seared some truth on my insides. Because so many times I walk around thinking, I've got it together. I'm not being a horribly inconsiderate person. I'm doing just fine. And then I start to complain. And the minute I open my mouth, my husband is there to shove those words back in. He holds up my own words in front of me, making me see myself in my own mirror. And sometimes, it's really ugly. But now I can see where the cracks are. Now I see the weak spots.

So tomorrow, I'm wearing a scarf.
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