You Are Not Alone.
I’m sitting at my favorite coffee shop. I’ve been here for three hours.
I spent the first couple minutes (maybe the first hour) stapling every person to my sleeves. They are stitched in my words today. You’ll feel them and you’ll wonder about them and I will try to make them look bright and fierce.
I spend so much time in the make believe stories of strangers. Really, it’s a problem. I’ve pseudo-dated many green-eyed, freckle-faced boys with strong arms and tattoos as they type away across from me at the coffee shop.
(They don’t even know it yet, but they’ve bought me sunflowers and I’ve baked them lots of cookies already.)
See what I mean? It’s just this thing I do. I see the girl in the cute tights and I want to be her best friend. I want to know her favorite color and if she’s close to her mother.
What I’m trying to say (by probably sounding really creepy) is that I choose people. Every time. I don’t know many things, but two of the few things are: I want to be brave and I want to show up for people.
I want someone to say: You showed up. Thank you so much for showing up.
Because really, we all want it. We all want a cheerleader, a hug, an enthusiastic “You’re doing a great job!”
Do you know how we show up? By doing. By being there. By setting the table, for love and for kindness.
But Judgement wont get a place setting at my table. And Fear doesn’t get a glass of wine.
These two will be left out along with your shoes, along with your snarky remarks and your bitterness — there are no places for those things at my table.
(Just so you know what to bring — at my table, we only drink coffee and tea, wine and whiskey. And we eat dessert, lots and lots of dessert.)
Do you want to sit here with me? I’d love it if you did. I’d love to guzzle down your story. And I’d share mine with you, If you’d like.
We crave kindness. And love. And goodness. And all the other taboo things we aren’t supposed to admit to.
Do you know why we plaster viral videos of people being good to each other? “Oh, you need to watch this video of this guy proposing, it was so cute.” “Here are 50 random acts of kindness that will make you regain your faith in humanity.”
Do you know why we watch these over and over again, with that goofy grin on our faces? Because we want it. All that kindness that we see on our screens, we secretly want to reach out and eat it. Cake it upon our faces and marinate in it.
It’s delectable. I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m starved for it. I would rather have a morsel of kindness than a dozen of my favorite cookies (oatmeal, chocolate chip, peanut butter, in case you were wondering).
We are all mad for it. We believe it is still out there. And it isn’t about helping grandma carry groceries or giving your change to the homeless guy across the street then boasting about it to all of your followers — that’s not what kindness is.
To me, kindness is showing up. It’s someone to help me carry all the delicate things without scratching them up and making them ugly. It’s weakness turned into strength by the right company, and it is the resolve to believe that we are enough.
It’s being told, over and over again, the things you need to hear most.
So, I’ll tell you:
It gets better. You’re not alone. I promise that I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. Sometimes life just hurts. It tramples over your sensitive skin with the weight of every elephant known to man. And then all those elephants start to jump up and down. At the same time.
But you, you are amazing. You are resilient. You have gifts and talents in every one of your limbs and they are waiting to be stretched. You are not your insecurities and you are certainly not your doubts.
You are endless streams of goodness and boisterous dreams that will heave you up up up to the place where you belong.
We are all messy hearts pulled apart by computer screens and pride, and I wholeheartedly believe that if we could, we’d remove the digital screens and run up to each other, arms open and sit cross-legged with each other for hours, just enjoying each other. We’d do this IRL OMG For Real.
And we’d love it, and we wouldn’t take our phones out and scroll away at anything. We would sit and laugh and our knees would touch and we would be happy.
But if we can’t do that, then I’m still here to tell you that you are not alone.
I’m here to tell you that I set the table for Love, and she requested that you be the first to be seated.