One of my favorite things to do is people-watch at coffee shops. I sit and sip, quietly and curiously witness the gestures of lovers before or after a fight as they conceal greetings or gripes with glares, grins, and guffaws. A mother scolds her child for being a child at inconvenient times. People greet dogs with kindness before their owners. Even "curious-er" are the actions and behaviors of folks on social media where we shrink behind screens to grow more of whatever lurks within us; brave, cowardly, intelligent, ignorant, curious....
At times, I feel very clear in my position as social anthropologist. Maybe as a writer, it is an intuitive thing. As I craft "believable" characters, I study the nuances of humans and our behavior in social situations. Makes sense, right? Recently, I have become most interested in watching the people who are watching me. The "friends" and family with whom I am connected online who take the time to "Like" and "Love" my momentary headlines. When I post (especially an accomplishment) on social media, I am fortunate (and extremely grateful) to realize various forms of love, kind words, good energy, and support extended to me as I journey and process.
Interestingly, though, there is the idea that I keep "finally arriving" to the great destination... SUCCESS! (Whatever that means.) To be honest, I am usually so busy with the work of what it takes to set and accomplish a goal, figure out the next steps, or assess what I need for the climb, I often lose sight of the moments people applaud (or turn their lips up to) as some great fete. Please make no mistake... Each step on this road to wherever I land has been taken with great humility, courage, prayer, and determination to continue DESPITE the unrelenting and insecure voices in my head. When I can't beat those voices, I write about 'em. (hence the t-shirt). Then, I grab a glass of something delicious and red, or nibble a small square of some savory dark chocolate decadence, and I remind myself that there is no landing; there is only the journey. It is long and it will challenge everything I believed about myself. And it is beautiful and worth it.
I am grateful for the stamina and strength that I have gained from the process and the things that I have learned about myself and the world, from the process. But, dear friends, it is a process. And I am still in it. (Jenifer Lewis... I'm still holding the line!)
Thank you for the fuel of your Love. I Am because We Are.