The truth is rarely simple. Often, it falls into our laps like leaves from maple trees and lint from the insides of our sweatshirt hoodies. It does not apologize for the dog fur coating our couches or the dirt tracks ruining our carpets.
It stands tall and tells us “tough luck.”
And sometimes that is enough to bring me to my knees.
There are plenty of truths I’ve shared in the last twenty months. I have been honest with you for as long as I can remember. But someone once reminded me that a lie of omission is still a lie, and to say every day is beautiful is to look through a distorted telescope.
We are blessed to have support when we launch ourselves into something risky and unapologetic. And if we’re really lucky, those people who hold our hands as we cross highways and lift us over barbed wire fences are the people we hold in our hearts. The people we pick over and over again.
Those are the people we imagine when the playground question is proposed: “Who, if you could only take one person with you, would be on your hypothetical deserted island?”
My list has evolved over the years. People come and go, waltzing into my life and shimmying out like contestants on a game show. But a handful stuck to the concrete in my heart, unable to move for much longer than others.
It is their support that turns me into a pile of mush. And when I find myself absorbing the momentum and wind at my back, compliments of people in places I’ve never been, I somehow still ache for the people whose feet have swapped shoes with mine and whose sweatshirts have warmed my chilly arms to recognize how much I am pushing for a better world.
I don’t want to seek the approval of people who don’t notice. I don’t want to cry over those who underestimate or dismiss me. I don’t want to volley between gratitude for the kindness of strangers and anxiety that I am pushing the ones I love far away every time I lasso them close.
It is just that we, us humans, want to be noticed by the ones we love. We hold others up on platforms that don’t retract when we should be focusing on the love we’re given.
If there are words enough to comfort me and you and your friends and your family, it is that we love with our hearts, without question, and we do not focus on getting that love back but concentrate on being nothing but grateful for those who believe we are bigger than our missteps, wiser than our younger selves, and stronger than our failures.
And I hope that is enough for the moments when the ones you love most don’t understand the passions you hold dearest.
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