This story is dedicated to my college theatre professors.
I often long for the past. I long to go back to just a few single moments where certain people were able to hold my glass heart with care.
Most of the time I’m required to get a broom after an interaction with someone. No matter how brief the encounter is I must clean up the glass on the floor and clean the walls of the extra debris that the other spilled.
No one means to spill extra debris, most of the time, but misunderstanding happens. So I often long to go back to a moment in time when you were there and never made me clean up anything. You were able to hold my glass heart gently. You looked closely at it and saw all my layers of color. You wanted nothing from me, except to see my divine, innate potential. So I felt safe sharing my color with you.
I long to go back to those moments as I am now. I want to show you how bright my colors have gotten, how much stronger they are, and some new colors that weren’t there before.
However, what’s done is done. Time moves forward so I must move forward too, but I won’t forget those moments in time. You’ve left your finger prints on my heart.
Sometimes my mind replays the memories of those moments when you were gentle, understanding, and nurturing, but in a way that didn’t belittle or that might ignite inferiority. No, instead I felt empowered and uplifted. I felt empowered to be myself without shame or need for explanation. I was never required to please you and that allowed for freedom.
Although, I was scared. I didn’t open myself up as much as I could have, or as much as I wanted to. I felt like I could be your equal, but there were so many cracks in my glass heart I didn’t know how much authenticity people could handle. So I stayed guarded just a little.
I always came equipped. Not with weapons. I saved those for myself, but like Robin Hood with his bow and quiver of arrows, I too had tools. I had supplies to protect those with strong exteriors from my vulnerable nature. I was always ready with a broom, a dust pan, and a mop. You might as well just call me the cleaning lady, who’s slogan silently echoed inside, “I’ll be here 24/7 to explain myself, or clean up any kind of misunderstanding that one might have because I’m the cleaning lady!” I was used to spending lots of time as the cleaning lady.
I compared myself a lot. I was always so grateful that you didn’t say, “Don’t compare yourself” like everyone else would say. Instead, as gently as you held my heart, you would remind me WHY I shouldn’t compare. You reminded me that the way I showed up, glass heart and all, was needed, wanted, and valued. Thank you! I will always be grateful for that treatment.
From that gift I was able to value my heart and mind a little more each day. I was able to stop wishing I could be “tough like her” or “a stellar academic like him”. Each time you held my heart and delighted in my layers of color I learned to find a friend in myself, and a creative companion in you. I learned to love myself more and began to feel more like your equal each moment.
It was as if you had wrapped my heart with beautiful paper, a nice bow, and handed it back to me with a note that read, “I love you!”
It’s rare to be understood on a deep level without judgment. Most people don’t try to support or understand like you did. You may not even know what you did, but all I need you to know is that I’m very grateful I know you and you are special to me.
Most people that I encounter say, “Here’s what I think you should do”, “Here’s how you should feel”, or “Don’t be like that.”, which forces me to clean up the mess of their misunderstanding, but you would just sit with me. You would work with me. You would make an effort to understand from your heart, and not your head. You would clean up the mess with me. You met me where I was and walked with me until I (mostly) felt strong enough to stand on my own two feet and celebrate myself. There were moments where you would be firm, but I wasn’t afraid of it because I knew I was valued by you.
I’ll keep moving forward since that’s all I can do, but I hope one day I can see you again, my creative companion. I hope to create art with you and to show you all my new colors. I hope to show you how much stronger I am, and that my glass heart doesn’t break from comparison. I’m still the cleaning lady, ready with her mop in case of misunderstanding, but I don’t mind so much anymore because I know that there are people out in the world that see me, and can handle my complete authenticity without fear, or speculation of any kind.
Thank you for staying true to yourself and for encouraging me to do the same. I hope one day I can give you the same gift you gave me.