Thoughtsgiving Day Two~ Free Hugs

“A silent hug means a thousand words to an unhappy heart.” ~unknown author

” In a hug you feel the heartbeat. You feel this person is your brother, your sister as you grab them.” ~Caleb Shikles

Welcome to day two of Thoughtsgiving! I’ve already felt so rewarded by those of you who have left me your thoughts and hearts, and have swung by to see what’s up here. I love you all so, and cannot thank you enough for your time in reading my experiences. And for that, I send a BIG HUGE HUG!

The song I’m excited to share today, is “Ripple” by The Grateful Dead. This is my “go to” song when I feel depressed. It’s philosophical, yet uplifting in the message it sends.

The opening lyrics just touch my heart, because I am someone who obviously loves to share my heart, my soul with others, so that they may take something away from it…something thoughtful, something healing, the thought that someone is there that may understand their heart?

“If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come thru the music,
Would you hold it near as it were your own?”

And what does a ripple of a healing action do for us? So much to think about.

Around mid-October, I took my 17 year old daughter and a friend to a concert. My daughter is a senior this year, and just one of the most individualistic souls out there. She and her best friend (since first grade) wanted to see one of their favorite bands soooo badly. She promised me, though she and I frequently like the same music….I would NOT like this band. It was “too loud, maybe had some inappropriate lyrics, though in another language (ahem, yes…potty mouth in Afrikaans), were strange.” I think the meaning behind it was “Mom, I don’t want you to go with us.” 🙂

We live approximately 30 miles from one major city, and about 40 from the next. Lawrence, Kansas (the home of KU), is a very artsy, eclectic town, and where the concert would be held. I promised I would drive my daughter and her friend……and wait three hours until midnight, for the concert to end. I had *no clue* what I would do when Starbucks closed at ten…but that’s another story.  As we arrived, I dropped the girls off, but my daughter panicked because I had forgotten to give her extra cash. I told her I would text her, when I had gone to an ATM, and get it to her somehow.

I parked the car several blocks away in the first available parking place. I sat for just a second in the car…..and realized I was petrified to get out. I almost couldn’t move. Some major social anxiety had kicked in. I felt like I would be so out of place, people would stare at me. I simultaneously felt ridiculous, I had been there a bunch of times as a college student, hanging out at the clubs, what difference had….oh, 15 years made?  I forced myself out of the car, and onto the dimly lit street, to find an ATM. Once I had the money in hand, I approached the concert venue…which was swarming with young college hipster types, mingling, charged with hormones (I remembered that, vaguely). Again, I was petrified. Then… to the side I saw them. Two girls. Twenty something, pretty. One picked a few notes on a guitar, calmly. The other, with long curly hair….held a sign that read “Free Hugs.”

Every single person passed by, ignoring the two girls. I wondered a bit, if they were KU students, doing a sociological experiment, tallying those who walked by, and who stopped for a free hug. However, I was compelled to go forward and hug this girl. Me, temporarily overwhelmed with social anxiety.
**Now I must interject, that I am not a touchy feely gal. I kinda love my personal space. I’m friendly…but it freaks me out when people get too touchy…..unless they are close friends or family. **

I approached her, and she said “OH you want a free hug!” in a very sincere way. She grabbed me like I’d known her my whole life, and hugged me tight. I felt a kindness, and honesty in the hug. It was a complete revelation. In that very instant……this stranger, she proved to me that I had nothing to fear. Yes, the world could be mean, but it was worth facing unkindness a hundred times over ……to feel just 5 seconds of kinship with a stranger.

It would have been so cool to have actual photos of the hug, but, that would have been strange, and not in keeping with the spontaneity of the moment, eh? So, I found the receipt for the tickets on my husband’s dresser (he keeps everything), and used that as my focus.

I enjoyed putting this very eclectic, inky, glittery flower. It’s a hug in itself for me.

I used one of the Studio Calico papers to make the title flip page, and then just started to layer…Tim Holtz tags, cardstock stickers, paper, letters, buttons, staples. Ah…how I love layers. 🙂

I used a “Evangeline” journaling tag, by Cosmo Cricket (I got it from Paper Issues, and I use them all the time), and wrote most of the story on front and back. I will just add it into the book.

Here’s the whole page. It looks pretty grungy, but I added a very light layer of gesso, then stenciled  the polka dots with some Color Shine in tinsel. Of course, washi tape and I are good buddies, so I added some of my faves….and voila! It was done.

Thank you soooo much for joining me today, it was so wonderful, and I hope you have a fabulous weekend. Here’s a biiiiig hug for you!! ❤ A


4 Comments on “Thoughtsgiving Day Two~ Free Hugs”

  1. Scarlett says:

    Sweet Amy how on Earth did you know I needed a hug today??? I mean right at this precise moment??!!! Wow. I’m following your suit and working on my brave thoughts – it sure is tough being brave, huh but I’ma gonna do it!!! Thank you so much for you have helped ignite the creative fire I needed to get going again. I needed this hug to know what life has handed me is going to be okay and by sharing my story others will be blessed and maybe encouraged to be brave too!! Its funny because I typically shy away from hugs when I don’t know the person they come from also – yesterday I openly asked a lady who helped me immensely after a REALLY long and exhausting day if I could give her one – I could tell she was like what?? but she graciously accepted. She was an angel on earth for me as you have been through these posts. Its the little things and I really appreciate you!!!! big HUGS right back at’cha gurl from this mush ball of a cyber friend!!! 🙂 ❤

  2. ava g says:

    that’s an interesting story, never seen a street offering of hugs.
    ava g

  3. Scraps says:

    There are lots of “Free Hug” signs around people’s necks at the comic conventions I sell my book at. One day I finally stopped one passing by my table just to ask what the deal was–was it an anime thing? Something from a show I didn’t watch? A game I didn’t play?

    Nope, it was just free hugs.

    I’ve never accepted one of them–I, too, like my personal space to stay personal, plus I bring my favorite hugger (Todd) with me to those sorts of things–but they do make me smile when I see them roving about.

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