I was talking to a mom on the phone about the things her daughter needed to do. The mom was telling me just how stressed her daughter was.
I reassured her that what I needed could wait. That it was ok. Her daughter could do it later, she did not need to worry about it.
I felt for the daughter. Her Mom said she was currently really stressed out and just having a tough week.
I know exactly how that is and my heart reached out to her, this fellow college student just having a rough week. With too many deadlines, exams and way too much stress.
Yet I wondered what I would do if I saw this girl.
I would probably look at her, see what she was wearing and make some silly judgement call. A judgement call like “those shoes with those pants??” I might also not even notice her. I would just walk by and not even see her.
If I did see her, I doubt I would say a word.
But what if for some strange reason I did and I asked her how she was.
This perfect stranger would not answer me honestly because we never do. I would never know that she was struggling and she would never know how much I empathize with her.
But we have the internet which knows no bounds of reaching people. So this is what I have to say to that girl.
I know your week is hard and might even seem super crappy. But it will be over, it will not last forever. You are not alone. Beleive me I have been there, just as scared , stressed and sleep-deprived. I got through it and you will too. But cut yourself some slack. No one can do everything perfectly. Realize what actually matters what is realy important. Remember that no matter what happens, no matter how this week goes everything will be ok. It is stressful now, but after a friday night of relaxing and ice-cream the stress will fade away. Next week will be different and soon what was once so stressful will be a blur. It is hard now. Life is hard. Don’t pretend it is not. Recognize that it is tough but it will be ok.
Life can sometimes feel like a bumpy road. It can also feel like a free-fall from one hundred feet. It can feel like a warm blanket. It can be awesome and it can be awful.
Embrace it, live it and recognize the other people around you. The ones who hurt, the ones who have feelings, the ones who cry. See not just your own struggles and joys but the people around you.
See the people. My prayer is that next time I walk around my campus, I will not just glance. I will see a person. Filled with hopes, dreams, struggles and I will give them a smile or say a silent prayer.
Knowing that an encounter with a person is a powerful thing.