Shout out to the stranger in the sunglasses who patted me when I started bawling in the hospital, and didn't stop patting me when I told hert hat no one in fact had died and that it was just that I'd screwed up my calendar and come on the wrong morning.
Shout out to the nurses for fitting me into a full list when I (figuratively) threw myself at their feet (still weeping) and begged.
Shout out to my right hand woman Kate who navigates my inability to manage an overflowing diary without further complicating things.
Shout out to my clients who are gracious when I muddle up a simple administrative task, and trust me to take them into uncharted territory with their heart in my hands anyway.
Shout out to my partner for making sure dinner is on the table most nights for the humans and the animals, and shout out to those humans and animals who seem to know I love them madly even though I work long hours and when I’m home I'm often distracted.
Shout out to everyone who can see I'm trying really hard even though I sometimes muddle it up.
I had another friend tell me last night that my social media presence doesn't match what I was saying about how I've been travelling lately. That online it looks like everything's all happy happy joy joy, and here I was telling her how I feel raw, reactive, and destabilised by events of the past month.
You know, I love writing and I love social media but still it's hard to post when things feel tough and I feel like a walking mistake, or worse, a martyr. It's neither interesting nor charming, and it's not the vibe I want to put out in the world.
When I do write about feeling distressed or messy, I sometimes get feedback that it’s frightening, that maybe I’m actually not okay.
That's not true either.
Maybe you're thinking it doesn't matter; it's just social media, not real life. It matters to me, though, because there IS an intersection. If the online and in-real-life worlds were collapsed into a Venn diagram, the overlap would be large and expanding.
When I sit with a woman crying because all her friends are posting baby pics and she's single and 39, when I'm admonished by a friend for being incongruent, when I learn from an 18 year old that deleting someone on Snapchat is akin to an act of war, when I fight my own compulsion to succumb to social media marketing and buy things I didn't know I needed (er… magnetic eyelashes, anyone?), when I help a young adult explain to their parents that their friends on Steam bring meaning and depth and love to their life…
The overlap swells.
So shout out to anyone who had the patience (or time on public transport this morning due to the bus strike) to read all of this, and understand and celebrate the complexity and messiness that is life, and know that maybe the thing to do is just quietly pat that crying stranger and remind them the moment will pass, even if it is immortalised in a blog post.