People come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes and textures and layerings. Some come box-shaped from trying to fit themselves into one, some big, capable of filling up an entire room, some are soft and fuzzy, others slippery, some wear their hearts on their sleeves and still others layered like the earth: few get past the thin rocky crust to the mantle, and virtually no one can get to the solid core that drives everything above it.
And for whatever reason they like to come to me.
They come to me one after another with their family problems, relationship problems, their teenage angst. I like this guy, he’s so cute. I want to break up with him but don’t know how. My parents are fighting and it’s so complicated. All of them boats a little bit broken trying to keep afloat in a tough bend of the river of life.
I tell them it’s going to be okay and it’ll get better, because it really will. I offer what little advice I can give. I try to help them patch up their brokenness, all the while telling them that it’s okay to be a little bit damaged, we all are.
Sometimes it’s not a straight path out. Sometimes I’m powerless to stop them from walking right into a hellhole. I’ve seen the making of bad or just plain abusive relationships, the deepening of family resentments. A multiplication of problems of sorts, but I know I’ll be there to catch them for those as well.
But as a testament to the strength of the human spirit, eventually they all seem to make it through. Past the vale of tears, past the bend in the river. They exclaim how I was right, they give me a hug, and they continue. Most times we lose contact and I don’t hear from them in a long time.
But I don’t know how to get out of here. The people don’t stop coming, and I need to help them. Who else would? I fiercely believe in the lightness of humans but I mostly meet them in darkness. So am I a cynic or a dreamer? Who knows?
For now I’m still stuck in the darkness, telling people they’ll make it out while wishing for someone to tell me the same. Or rather, I wish I could believe it myself. I wouldn’t hope this on anyone else.
The above piece is dedicated to a dear friend. You can visit/follow him here.