I said with obligation, “Hey. How’s it going?”
-Hesitation- And no true answer.
“You’re doing alright?” I say, as if to cue him.
He gives me an honest answer. And I sympathize.
I do not feel much like talking. Honestly I am only an inch above defeated. I feel discouraged, not bubbly.
As Benjamin is scanning my grocery items he looks up, “Sorry if this sounds weird, but you seem like a cool person.”
What?! Me?! Does he know who he is talking to? I had a million reasons up until that point I felt incredibly uncool. In fact I was feeling lonely and burned out.
Totally uncool like I questioned, “what do you mean? Like calm?” People tell me I am calm all the time. So if he tells me oh yea that is what I meant, then I have permission to go back to my hole of discouraging thinking.
I was speechless. Permission denied. He was so sure.
I walked out of the store, after also not so cool-like asking for the stream of coupons he had behind the counter. I wanted to cry as soon as the night air hit my face.
He made my night and he’ll never know it.
I had no more reason to wallow in woe-is-me’s because his words pulled me up by my bootstraps in the most unusual of ways.
I was deemed cool. But it was not that which made tears come to my eyes. It was because I was seen and encouraged in a moment when I felt unseen and discouraged.
This happened over a few weeks ago, but it has stuck with me. His words popped my bubble of stinking thinking. And for that I was very grateful.
May we choose to rethink how we are thinking this week. And may we challenge other people to do the same by saying “weird sounding” encouraging statements. May we reach out, going beyond the norm and hug people with our words.