I hold a dream job that I’ve never told a soul about.
It’s a completely, separate full-time job that (in a pretty & perfect world) would involve just me, a bucket, and Maya Angelou.
I harbor an adoration that is heavy and thick for this woman. She is, quite simply, a soul sister who hasn’t met me yet. But I love her. And I value her. And I would take every turn and twist possible if it meant I could follow her around with an upside down umbrella and a bucket to catch all her words of wisdom in one swift, scoop and keep them for myself.
It could work, really it could. I’d follow her to interviews and press conferences and poetry readings and she’d say to the people at the door, “Oh, her? She’s the one who recycles all my wisdom. Don’t mind her… or her bucket… or her umbrella…”
If this were my job, my most perfect job, then I would have been sitting beside her as her fingers got wrapped in the cords of the telephone as she talked with a reporter at the Daily Beast . I would have been with her instead of sitting here, in the middle of a Starbucks, tracing her wisdom off the screen.
Interviewer: What is something you always carry with you?
Maya: I’m a child of God. I carry that with me.
I stop. I pause. I put the bucket down. I search my pockets. I wonder, when did I stop carrying that? When did I forget that I was a child of God? And when did I forget to remember to tell you that, too? That you, yes, you are a child of God. And that makes you more special than any amount of syllables I could think to place beside your name.
I’m sitting here in the middle of a Starbucks and I am crying. I am vividly crying and I won’t apologize to anyone who wants me to clean up my tears with a napkin and a latte. I don’t really care if I ugly cry all over their Starbucks experience. Welcome to the real world, babycakes! Youz about to get some titanical tears with your grande machiblahblahblah.
Yes, I’m crying. Right now. Writing to you weeping. Because maybe I’ve wronged you… I’ve wronged you when I didn’t tell you the truth. When I didn’t use every ounce of my energy and my syllables to tell you that you’ve never needed to match someone’s standards. I’ve wronged you when I thought you didn’t need that message more than anything else in the world… more than business advice or organizational skills. You’ve just needed to know what a worthy, worthy thing you are, no matter how ugly this world gets.
And regardless of if you believe it or not, I. Think. You’re. Freaking. Perfect.
Quite simply: I think you put the dang stars to shame. And you give the oceans a ripple & a wave for their money. And you need not change a stitch of you because I have always, always, always loved you this way.
And you think a stranger can’t love you? Baby, I can cry for you. And I can decide not sleep at night because of you. Because all I’ve ever needed to say, over & over & over again, is that I wish you knew how very lovely you are. It’ll break my heart the longer I go without telling you that. I wish you knew how very lovely you are.
And despite what you believe, I am not afraid to sit in my corner of the internet and tell you that I think you are a child of God. And please don’t get offended by me because there is nothing offensive about the idea of someone making us perfectly. And there is nothing offensive about the idea of someone stitching up the skyline for us. And there is nothing offensive about believing, if only for a half second, that we were made for victory and better things before we learned to give our little lives away to weaknesses and lies.
I believe in that.
I believe in love. I believe in a religion that never sat pretty in the church the way it raged beautifully when it was out on the sidewalks. In the hands of people who knew how to love on others right. I believe in people who use every shred of their composure to go out of their way to tell someone else how very wonderful they are. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, someone should have told you that before. And if you’ve never heard that… well. let. me. be. the. first.
I don’t care that I don’t know you. I don’t care that I cannot list off all your bruises and battles like the backs of my own hands. Because if it took me knowing all of that about you then we would never get to the point where I apologize to you…
And say that I am sorry that others have judged you.
Or misread you. Or hurt you. Or screwed you over.
I am sorry for all of that and I beg you accept my apology for all the harm of humanity if it means you’ll think about moving forward today… because you have bigger work to do than feel the bitterness. You have much bigger work to do. That work is so big, so wide, so far, that it laughs at all those weaknesses that tried to hold you back.
We cannot stay here any longer.
Do you hear me? Do you hear me? We cannot sit here and wait for the hurt to pass, we must get stronger. It’s our only hope. We cannot sit here and wait to love ourselves a little more, or find worthiness in the mirror tonight. There is work to be done, there is work to be done.
We will know all those other things in time. But our lives are short & our time is fleeting & our limbs were made for a love that howls at the moon. So are you ready to go? Are you ready to go?
Take my hand. Don’t even turn your head to look back. We’re gonna try forward and I promise, I promise, you’ll weep for joy when you find it fits you like an old lover’s sweatshirt in the night winds of April. You were made for more than this. You were made to carry bigger things than your victim stories. Say it as we go, say it as we go.
You, my love, are a child of God. & you’ve always been perfect to me.