In case you forgot, you’re not alone out here. It’s so easy to feel disconnected and disoriented right now. It’s easy to feel like nobody else is really out there, that we’re all running in parallel lines and may never cross paths again. If I know one thing, it’s that we will cross paths again. It may be sooner than you think, or sooner than you’re actually prepared for. Know that you’re not alone in feeling a weird mix of excitement and anxiety at the thought of seeing other people again. We’re all going to be a little weird on the other side of this. We’re all going to be awkward and joyful and sad and uncomfortable. And it will be hard and scary and wonderful.
In case you don’t feel heard, know that I’m listening to you. Know that at least one person out there cares about what you have to say. Know that I want to hear your fears and your hopes and your dreams. I want to know all of the tiny details that have built you up into the person you are. I want to know why you’re scared of thunderstorms. I want to know why you think it’s bad luck to wear blue socks on Tuesdays. I want to know who your favorite superhero is and who your favorite band is and why you tell everyone your favorite color is red when secretly it’s purple. I want to know about all the interesting things and the boring things and the things that are too confusing to navigate alone. Know that there are more people out there who want to listen to you than you think.
In case you’re feeling tired, know that it’s okay to rest. We’re going through a collective experience that’s hard enough to wrap your head around, even before you consider what we’re all experiencing individually. It has been 12 months of uncertainty and loss and heartbreak and confusion and fear. It has been 12 months of unity and understanding and conflict and tragedy and hope. It has been terrible and inspiring and completely exhausting. So let yourself rest. Take a minute off, take a day off, take a week off – take the time to heal your soul. Take the space to explore your passions or make the space for yourself to just release the breath that you’ve been holding for a year. The world will be here to welcome you back when you’re ready.
In case you forgot, you are important. Your story is important. Your life is important. So write the article, sing the song, make your movies, propose your ideas. Reach out across whatever is separating you from that person you can’t stop thinking about, whether it’s oceans or decades or uncomfortable feelings, and connect. Your choices matter, your actions matter, and your ideas matter. Let your own needs be as important to you as everyone else’s are. Hold as much space for your own dreams as you do for the dreams of the people you love. Be as important to yourself as everyone else is. Share your heart and soul with the world, because you never know who your words are going to touch. You never know whose path will be the next to cross yours. But whoever’s path it is, I hope that they bring joy to your life. I hope they remind you of how not alone you really are.