I got to acknowledge someone. As usual, the person shall remain nameless. She has shown me what maturity and overcoming your own limitations really mean. She is quite young, yet she has the wisdom of an old martial arts grand master. She did floor me with a short message, as we were talking about my daily texts. Let me just show the message she wrote:
“I got to the place once that I thought that was it for me… That I was meant to be miserable for the rest of my life because, to be honest, I never had an easy life… I know for a long period of time, I looked like the strongest person ever just because I was acting strong but, deep inside I was a mess… But I remember that the last time that I acted strong and actually felt it deep inside, it was from one of your texts and I realized that I can do it if I wanted to…I started telling the truth about how I really feel about things without being scared of people seeing me being weak or not… and believe me, it took a lot for me to allow myself to be weak and admit it and then get up and find a solution to be a better person. Maybe it’s not a big deal to you but for me it was a huge thing… just to know that it’s okay to feel the way you’re feeling.”
Let’s get one thing straight; I write everyday. It is what I love, it is what I do above anything else. It makes me feel alive. It has become a routine, it is second nature by now. I talk about silly subjects and serious subjects. I always send them to people, to give them something to read when they are bored or during their commute. I do take my texts seriously, but I had no idea the impact those texts could have had on other people’s lives. My brother once told me to be careful with my writing because the sentences reach a certain amount of people and I shouldn’t take that responsibility lightly. He gave me some pointers to write better and to insist that whatever I wrote, it was my opinion, not gospel and I complied because it made sense.
Vanity is a dangerous feeling but I know I am no guru, nor am I an inspirational figure. I refuse to see myself as such, not out of humility, but out of common sense. I am just a fucking guy writing stuff. I wrote and sent those texts, that was it. Now, they have had an impact on her. She overcame her obstacles by herself, I didn’t help her one bit. Any demons she cast away, it was her own doing, not me. I know how hard she fought, I know her sleepless nights, her desperate moments, her fights with grave circumstances, I know almost all of it. I admire her for who she is, and I admire her even more for avoiding the trap of becoming another person whose shortcomings are explained by her hard life. She refused to capitulate, she stood up for herself and today, she is better than ever.
I refuse to accept any responsibility in the way she overcame life. I consider myself to be the radio in a car when you are taking a long trip; I am there in the background, sometimes you even forget I am there. I am not the engine, the oil, the gas, the windows, the seats, etc. I am the radio playing some music, and even if I wasn’t there, the car would still run, and you would still get to your destination, without missing the radio. That is how I see myself. Yet, she told me that I helped her with those daily messages. It is the most humbling thing I have ever encountered.
This woman is tough, tougher than I will ever be. I admire her courage and her strength. She does more things in a day than I do in a month. Hearing her say that I helped her, as little as I did, is a reminder of one thing: we don’t know the impact we have in other people’s lives. We go through life doing our thing, existing, being ourselves and we do not realize how a text, a message, a phone call, a smile, a hug, a visit, can be immensely meaningful and helpful to others. You might not know it, just as I didn’t. Keep being there for others. Do what you got to do. Don’t force anything.
Pain can trap you. Pain is a powerful force, one that could make your own ship capsize and sink. So, you got to be smart when dealing with pain. Being smart when in pain, that is unparalleled skill, one acquired through years of practice. Emotions are never rational, nor are they easy to figure out. We tend to fight pain, but we shouldn’t. When you let the pain in, when you accept that sorrow exists, and you can’t always avoid it, when you surrender temporarily and allow the pain to penetrate your heart, only then can you understand who you really are and what you are made of.
Don’t fight the pain. Let it in. Let it attempt to break you, and then start defending yourself, fight back. You will lose a few battles, but you will win. The pain will try its tricks and attempt to blindside you. Do not try to suffocate your pain because you will suffocate yourself as pain is happening inside of you. Accept the pain, tame your pain, control it, understand it, understand yourself and you will be better in the end.
I owe this text to her. She reminded me how each one of us could make a difference in someone’s life, without knowing it. I do not believe there is a higher honor than to help those you care about. Baby girl, thanks for letting me know that I am doing the right thing. A little appreciation does feed my ego and I will not deny my feelings. We are selfish beings and it is ok to admit that our ego needs some flattery every now and then. It helps me to keep going and be the best version of myself. I am going to stay consistent and who knows? Maybe one day she will help me the way I helped her. Thanks again baby girl, you are the best!
One more thing about her; she smiles all the time. God bless her. I shall do the same.
Now smile and go on with your day.