You’ll be fine. You’re 25. Feeling unsure and lost is part of your path. Don’t avoid it. See what those feelings are showing you and use it. Take a breath. You’ll be okay. Even if you don’t feel okay all the time.
You don’t need anyone’s affection or approval in order to be good enough. When someone rejects or abandons or judges you, it isn’t actually about you. It’s about them and their own insecurities, limitations, and needs, and you don’t have to internalize that. Your worth isn’t contingent upon other people’s acceptance of you — it’s something inherent. You exist, and therefore, you matter. You’re allowed to voice your thoughts and feelings. You’re allowed to assert your needs and take up space. You’re allowed to hold onto the truth that who you are is exactly enough. And you’re allowed to remove anyone from your life who makes you feel otherwise.
It was the dead of summer during early morning rush hour, and I was riding the metro to work. I regularly drive to work unless I have an evening planned in the city, and this is rare because I tend to be admittedly lame on weeknights. That night, I was going to see Beyonce in concert, so I was pretty excited and might’ve had a little dance in my stance as I stood on the Orange Line.
We caught eyes when you got on my train a few stops after me. You were tall and handsome, and I kept imagining where you were going or coming from with your hybrid suitcase/briefcase (did it have wheels?) – airport? business meeting? home? We never spoke, but kept on noticing each other, and shyly half-smiling. We both got off at Metro Center and went our separate ways. I hurried up the escalator with the crowd to get to my Red Line train, found a spot to stand, and there you were, directly across from me on the opposite platform. As timing would have it, both of our trains arrived together, and stopped in the exact same spot. I walked on, found a place to stand, and when I looked out the window to my left, there you were, again, and we both smiled and laughed as our trains pulled away.
There was nothing extraordinary about our encounter, except that it was a perfect missed connection in every single way. I know it might be two months too late, but I want to say thank you. I’m going through a recent breakup and you know, every person finds a different way to get by when they’re feeling low. Although my perfect missed connection may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things… as they say, it’s the little things that help. My thanks aren’t enough for our brief interaction, because it has made me feel optimistic and happy during times when I’m feeling down, and that is something you hardly get from strangers, and something I will continue to be grateful for, and smile about. I know we will probably never see each other again, but if we do, I’m sure it will make me smile.
“Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.”