Sometimes, “how are you?” can be one the most difficult question to answer. I would even argue that it’s more complex of an inquiry than many of the people who impose this question would give it credit to be.
Personally, I find that the difficulty lies in how I should craft my response, simply because I never know if the person asking is looking for the cute-and-condensed, “I’m fine, thank you,” reply or the unfiltered, TLC, Unpretty, “Everything around me is burning!! Quick, pass the water,” response.What do people really want to hear? Are they only asking out of habit or through the routine of things? It wasn’t until this last month that I became aware of just how accustomed I had become to expecting people to care about my personal issues at just the surface level. And in an effort to preserve my feelings and (I guess) protect myself from getting them hurt, that’s all I would push myself to give. But in recent days, I have seen how tragedy serves as a magnetic force, drawing in the kindness of others.
It all started when I received an unsolicited DM from a young man I met in college. We didn’t attend the same school, but due to the close proximity of the two universities, it was inevitable for us to cross paths. We’ve kept in contact with each other through our social media and maintained a mutual support of one another’s side passion projects; so his DM initially came as no surprise until he asked, “How have you been though? All is well?” Judge me if you please, but it took me a solid 45mins to response to this, because as mentioned, which response did he have the time and energy to entertain.
So I asked him.
And to that, he replied, “Be real. Ain’t sh*t cute about life lol”
He’ll never know (unless he’s reading this, of course), just how much that one sentence meant to me. For him to actually want to hear the “real” that was my life at the time.
There are people who consider themselves to be friends of mine who have yet to call/text/or reach out in any form, but have I lost any sleep? No ma’am. Their silence has shown me what position they truly hold in my life and because of that, I will kindly place them where they need to go.
You see, sometimes people want to know what’s up with you so they can have a window into your business for gossip purposes.
Others are genuinely concerned.
And well, the other bunch could honestly care less.
That’s why it’s so important that when someone comes around who actually gives two cares about the dark, the gritty, and the not-so-Instagram-friendly parts of your life or situation, don’t be afraid to be open to them; to be vulnerable. At times, they can provide you with an outside perspective that you very well may have needed to hear.
Their silence has shown me what position they truly hold in my life and because of that, I will kindly place them where they need to go.
As I enter this new month, I feel a great deal of peace. Peace about being at home with my family. Peace that a new door is opening… just waiting for me to walk into. And peace that I’m not as alone as I feel.
Embrace the kindness of others today. And if you know someone personally or indirectly who appears to be haveing a difficult time, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. I know this experience has taught me to be kinder than I feel, so that’s what I’d like to offer you.
Before you go: Let me know of a time someone’s kindness helped you during a difficult moment in your life in the comments below; I’d love to hear! And take a look at my latest blog post by clicking here.
Peace, peace, peace,