Thought I was writing this letter for a girl in Starbucks after I could not help but eavesdrop on her phone conversation… She walked away and I just sat there, staring at the words I wrote to her. The letters jumped from the page.
Turns out I was writing it not just for her but for me, my best friend and a slew of other young women just trying to find their place in this life.
If that’s you today, then this letter is yours.
I’m sorry but I could not help but sit within your phone conversation.
I’ll admit it right now. Up Front. I totally sat somewhere between the iced coffee in front of you and the mess of paperwork surrounding you.
Somewhere between the iPhone to your ear and the Words that Seemed to Shatter Against the Starbucks Window you sat beside.
I stayed and lingered for a while. Hanging off the words you said to someone who should have been better to you.
“You know… I am doing OK.”
A Great Pause.
“It’s just tough… I am going to have to prove myself… I just need to be relevant in some way. The way I was in LA… It’s been hard to be nothing at the end of the day.”
And gosh, I don’t know you, so I guess this is where I wanted the most to break into the conversation and awkwardly make some comment about how much I adore your blouse. The green really fits you.
I don’t really care about the green blouse, I just have a tough time blurting out to strangers that I think the world is better because of them.
And all I really want to say, beyond silk and satin compliments, is that I am in your shoes. That a million of us are in your shoes today. Wanting to feel adequate. Loved. Wondering if we should start jumping on tables and yelling in the middle of the Fresh Produce aisles of Target just so people know we are here. That we exist. That we matter.
You know, if I were a psychologist I might attest that it all traced back to our Little Girl Days…Beside toys & dolls with frilled dresses, we became Girls Who Cared Too Much. Lived Too Little. Tried Too Hard to Win Too Little of Love than the Great Love We Truly Deserved.
If I were a sociologist I would say it stems back the Mean Girls. To the cold shuns of lockers closing & twisted teeth, neon metal filling their mouths, who slur secrets to one another about the way we dress and the hairs on our heads. That’s when we became Slaves, Shackled to What the World Thinks of Us.
And if I were an anthropologist I would say this goes all the way back to Eve…. Even in her fig leaf ensembles, I am so certain if she had been handed a resume, an LSAT study book, a pair of tweezers and a beauty magazine she would have found ways to sit by the water when Adam wasn’t looking, stare into her reflection and whisper out loud, “Be more, Eve. Be more.”
But strip from me the “psych” & “soc” & “anthro” and I am just some Ologist who is dying to tell you that you don’t have to be alone in this. That we can figure out this mess together. Day by day. Even minute by minute if it takes us that long. But we don’t have to go it alone.
I say we, and not you, because already—even if you don’t believe it—I’m determined to not leave you alone in this.
We can get an army going, for I know there are a lot of pretty girls this side of the town who would gather alongside us.
We could plant a box in the middle of town and, on days when we are feeling lovely, we could pour the loveliness in. When you are feeling beautiful, you go ahead and pour into it too. Pass that love to the box for a girl who’s feeling less Lovely & needs a lift the next day. We could seesaw love… back and forth to one another. It could be a beautiful, radical thing that would keep us away from coffee shops that leave us spilling self-worth out from the seams of phone conversations.
We could laugh about this one day over too many glasses of wine. We could cock our heads back and snicker for several hours over the silliness that’s now stitched to the days we called ourselves Worthless. Not Good Enough. Inadequate. Irrelevant.
Snicker, snicker, snicker, I think I’d like to laugh about this one day, to reach a point where I could stand before a mirror and laugh until my head falls off, saying to the girl with brown hair looking back, “How did I ever abandon you? Cut you down? Push you into boxes far too small?
I love you, and I adore you. I love you, and I adore you.
You are my best friend and I won’t forget to remember that… you are my best friend and I wont remember to forget that.”