We’re all guilty of it. It’s part of what makes us caring, compassionate human beings. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am not the personality type that wants to or feels comfortable burdening another soul with my bad day, so instead, I smile bleakly, say “I’m fine,” and move on with my bad day affecting no one but me.
I smile. I smile even when I know I’m just a small boat about to sink.
I’m what my mother calls a “people pleaser,” and she’s called me that for longer than I can remember. I will never, ever admit to any struggles I’m facing. Not because I’m self-righteous or stubborn, but because I simply don’t want to ruin anyone else’s mood. If you’re on top of the world, I won’t be the one to bring you down.
But sometimes I want nothing more than to spill my soul out and let someone else pick up the pieces.
Sometimes I want to admit that I’m human with overwhelming emotions, and sometimes the weight of the world is crushing.
Sometimes I want to know that someone’s listening, even if it’s just for a little while.
So, when I see someone who needs a hug, I give it. I’ve got a few to spare.
I give it because I know what it’s like to not be okay. I know what lonely feels like, and I know how much I hoped that some stranger on the street on a random Sunday could see the hurt in my eyes. Because of that, I keep mine open. I look for the hurt, and I heal the best I can. I do it because I know how hard it is to swallow your tears and say those two painful words: “I’m fine.”
It’s okay. I know you’re not fine, and that’s okay too. You don’t have to be right now.
I know this hug might not fix things forever, but I hope it can calm you just for a moment.
In and out.
Because one day, you will be able to say “I’m fine,” but this time, you’ll mean it.