Ernest Hemingway said, “Every one needs to talk to someone. . . . Now for every one there should be someone to whom one can speak frankly, for all the valor that one could have one becomes very alone.”
Sometimes I need to talk more than other times. Yesterday was turning into one of those days.
Two years ago I ordered a year’s supply of Vogue magazine for only two dollars. I cancelled the subscription after that one year, but for some reason I still get the magazines. My mom always thought I was weird growing up because I loved reading magazines and then cutting them apart. I still do. I read an article yesterday morning about a young actor (can’t remember which one now so obviously the person himself didn’t matter too much), but he made a point to say that he had reached the peak in his career in which he could now choose which roles he wanted to work on and ignore all the others. You know, sometimes I get super discouraged when I read about rich people like that. It must be nice to be able to afford the luxury of doing whatever you want to do. Have I ever had that luxury? No. Will I ever? Probably not.
Then I sit back in my discouraged state and compare myself to everyone else I know. Facebook is great for that, right? Oh, look! That high school friend just got married. That one just had a baby. That college friend is living in Turkey now. That person is getting his doctorate at Harvard. She just won the Nobel Peace Prize. Kaitlyn, what are you doing? Paying off debt, going to school, saving money for something huge and important and glamorous such as…oh, rent and food. Yeah. I’ve stayed in the same place for six years. Why not make it eight? Some people are excited that I’m going back to school for a master’s degree. They ask me if I’ll try out for choir, if I’ll try out for plays, if I’ll try out for operas. The answer to all those questions? An emphatic no! I’m too afraid of failing at what I love, and I’m too afraid of succeeding at what I don’t love.
But then again, sometimes encouragement can come from unexpected places–like Methodical Coffee in downtown Greenville. My roommates and I went there for the first time yesterday to hang out with one of their good friends who was visiting. (I highly recommend the tres leches–if you like sweet coffee.) After about an hour of conversation, two men walked in and sat down. I particularly noticed one. He sat directly in my line of vision and made a point of introducing himself to every female in the room; he wasn’t very picky. I thought (and I was right) that it was only a matter of time before he introduced himself to our table of four females. After another half hour, he did.
He and his friend, Blue (for lack of any other name), walked up to our table, looked directly at me, and said, “I hope you don’t mind our interrupting your conversation.”
“Oh, no, not at all,” I replied, immediately blushing.
“Well, I just wanted to say that I noticed you have an aura about you. People listen to you. They flock to you. You command attention. You are going to change the world.”
“Well, thank you. I do have plans to become the first female president.”
“Would you like to tell her what you observed?” (he says to his friend, Blue).
“Well, I just agreed with him that you do seem to be the center of attention.”
“That’s probably because I talk a lot.”
“No, they were listening to you.”
“Yeah, because I was talking.”
“Are you saying you don’t believe me?”
“No, I don’t think you are lying. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, I guess…as I get older and live my life.”
“Well, I believe you are going to change the world for the glory of Jesus and all that or for the beauty of the saints.”
“Thank you, again.”
But oddly enough, that man was a huge encouragement to me. I may not be pretty enough to be married, I may not be healthy enough to have kids, I may not have the money to move overseas, I may not be smart enough to get into Harvard, and I may not be famous enough to earn the connections that count. But maybe I can change the world, one blog post at a time.