I see you … running mile after mile on the treadmill of aspiration, earbuds blasting the ballad of an uphill climb. I see you seeking, searching, striving. I see you trying so hard as sweat seeps from your pores. It isn’t an effort that you make in vain. But it isn’t one that you need to make either. It just is. You just are. And it is not a bad thing just to be.
The parking lot is packed — good luck finding a spot! Trying to sneak through the doors without talking to someone? Nice try. Greeters are stationed at every entrance armed with smiles and “good mornings.” The line at the cafe is perpetually never-ending, it’s a game of musical chairs trying to find a seat to enjoy your drink, and the sound of a hundred different conversations fills the lobby. Kids are playing; kids are screaming. Don’t be surprised if a kid runs between your legs as they are rushed to Sunday school by their parent.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard this question, specifically in the past few years. Sometimes it’s directed towards me, sometimes it’s directed towards someone in my vicinity, sometimes this question is coming out of my own mouth. And while I’ve realized that it’s a basic, get-to-know-you, small talk type of question, I’ve been noticing lately the subtle nuances in the responses of others.
There was a group of us in our middle school who would sit on the curb in our neighborhood to take a rest from skateboarding, or in my case, from watching everyone else skateboard. Amongst idle adolescent chit-chat, someone would ask the question, “What’s your biggest fear?”