Come here, I want to tell you something.
Closer. Closer. Okay, a teeeeeeny bit closer.
What I want to say to you is simple. With everything crazy that is going on right now--
YOU 👏🏻 DON’T 👏🏻 HAVE 👏🏻 TO 👏🏻BE 👏🏻 OKAY 👏🏻
You don’t have to be okay tomorrow, the next day, three months from now, or even six months from now. You don’t have to be okay because there is nothing okay about this situation that we all find ourselves in.
The unknown can be downright scary—terrifying, actually—and everything about our lives right now is uncertain. The future is uncertain. What school may look like for our children is uncertain. The security of many of our jobs is uncertain.
We have a surplus of unanswered questions.
What will it look like when you finally eat out at a restaurant? Will a hug now be forever inappropriate or dangerous? If you have a family member that is at risk, will your visits with them always be through a window or just a drive-by in your car? How much longer must I keep my parents from seeing my children?
So no, you don’t have to be okay. You don’t have to put on a happy face and pretend like you’re handling things well, if you 100% are not handling things well.
Let me tell you, friends, that is absolutely not written ANYWHERE that you have to be cool with what’s going on right now.
You are entitled to feel a million different feelings, sometimes at the same time.
You can feel scared.
You can feel sad.
You can feel confused.
You can feel lost.
You can feel lonely.
You can feel broken.
You can feel thankful.
You can feel unsure.
You can feel not okay.
You are entitled to find yourself, lost in thought, aimlessly staring out the window, longing for the times that were. Longing for times when two people could stop to have a conversation in the grocery store, and not receive judgmental looks from other customers, just because they weren’t wearing masks. Longing for times when your children could play with the other neighborhood children. Longing for times when our friends and families could get together for birthdays and baby showers, and not have to leave gifts on the front lawn and blow kisses from afar.
Longing for times when loved ones did not have to pass without being surrounded by family. Longing for times of peace and a bit more order. Longing for times of prosperity and businesses not having to close.
You can hate what is happening in the world today. That’s completely fair.
It shouldn’t be like this. It shouldn’t be like this for anyone. Our graduating seniors should not have been robbed of their graduations. Frankly, no student should have been robbed of their graduation. Brides should not have had to cancel their weddings or not be married in front of their families and friends. Mamas should not have to birth their babies alone, without their partners.
None of it is fair, but it is real; it is happening. It’s happening and you don’t have to be okay with any of it, and while I sit here today and tell you that it’s okay to not be okay, I’ll also say this—
I am here for you.
I am checking in on you.
I may not know you and you may not know me, but I am here for you. I will always be here for you.
No matter what.
This piece was originally published on the author's Facebook page.
Photo credit: @finnnyc on Unsplash