Last weekend the dude and I went to see two of our friends get married, and let me tell you, that shit was amazing.
Not only was the wedding gorgeous – married on a hill at sunset with a reception in a colonial house and barn in freaking Nashville – but I honestly just couldn’t have been happier that these two made this commitment to each other. My favorite part of the wedding was when the bride walked out with her parents, and as they paused while we all stood, she said really softly, “I’m going to cry.” Which, of course, set me crying quietly until their hilarious rabbi started cracking jokes.
That moment hit me because I think it’s something we all do: we forget how amazing the people around us are. We forget how much they want to help us and support us. We forget how much they love us. I know I’m often genuinely surprised when my friends tell me they love me, or when they show up in droves for the one birthday party I have every three years. I forget that, in the same way I am hopelessly in love with each and every one of them, so they are with me. When I speak about anxiety with someone and their reaction is anything other than disgust or judgement, I’m surprised. Which is crazy, considering that I know what loving, kind, and compassionate people are in my life. I honestly just forget that some of that is reserved for and directed at me.
That’s a pretty incredible thing. It feels overwhelming, and it also tugs at my heart strings because I know there are people out there who don’t have this kind of love or support in their lives. I particularly feel for people who are struggling with a piece of themselves: with anxiety, depression, gender identity, sexual orientation, loneliness, etc. I want to badly to tell them that it will be ok. It is so hard to feel unsure of yourself, or like you don’t know who you are, or to feel that your life/future will be affected by this thing that people might not be ok with.
If you’re struggling, if you’re unsure, if your hurt or feeling broken or used, or if you’re just having a bad day: I hear you. It sucks. And I’m sorry that it sucks. I know it feels like it will always be this way and you will always feel this awful. It’s ok to be frustrated or angry. It’s ok to feel helpless. You are not alone. You are not helpless. You are complex, and complicated, and it’s ok to not be where others expect you to be. It’s ok to not be where you expect to be. And it’s ok to be mad or disappointed about that. It’s ok to ask for help. Someone out there has empathy for what you’re going through, and knows how to help you. That might be a friend, a parent, a therapist, or a random stranger. It might be you. You are alive, and here, and it will be ok.