I sat for the first time that day, knowing the break would be short and likely interrupted at a moment’s notice for me to fulfill a request..or refill a cup of milk. As I spent those few moments of rest gathering my composure and energy for the next round of duties that day, I briefly retrieved my smartphone from it’s resting place securely fastened in to the charger, and pressed the familiar blue F, impatiently waiting as the application loaded, the moments and fragments of my friends’ lives that they had chosen to share populating my screen at once. As I numbing scrolled through the vast array of pictures, shared articles and status updates, I came upon her status. I’m not certain why that particular status stood out amongst the others, and yet I felt called to read it, digesting each word as I could read her emotions poured across the screen.
Instantly, I felt my heart break for her..because I had been her. The very position she stood in her life currently was where I stood one year ago, questioning everything. My self. My faith. My circumstances. It felt as if the weight of the world rested upon my shoulders alone, and in a world that was determined to test my strength, remaining positive felt nearly impossible.
Perhaps that is why her status called to me on that day.
In spite of the circumstances she has been through, situations that would crush others under their depth and frequency, she rises above. She never complains, nor becomes angry. Even when the storm seems to be striking her the hardest, battering her sails, she still floats, a true reminder of how remarkably a positive attitude can shape a person.
We met for the first time in high school, and while we were not close in those short (yet to someone who absolutely dreaded high school, seemingly the longest 4 years of my life) she made an impact on everyone she encountered, including myself. She always graced the halls with a smile on her face, an infectious ray of energy that made her one of the most popular members of our graduating class.
I ran in to her a few years later, at a clothing store where I was working to gain more experience before applying for corporate jobs. I’m not certain of where her journey had carried her in the years between high school and this meeting, but she accepted me instantly, embracing me in a hug not because it was expected but because she was, and still is, completely genuine. I was honestly surprised that she had recognized me (after all, I was the second runner up for “most quiet” ) in our senior yearbook highlight reel, and made it my purpose not to draw attention to myself, but still she treated me as she would one of her best friends, engaging me in conversation and making me feel welcome.
We are friends on social media, and that is how I was able to come across her status on that day. Throughout the years, I have seen the circumstances of her life bring her to a man who would later cause unimaginable hurt..what seemed like the worst devastation at the time, and looking back now, was an incredible blessing for her. She has met the love of her life, a truly wonderful man who, through my brief social media interactions, has treated me like one of his own friends, and together they have created a beautiful life and a gorgeous family.
Life is testing her now, and I know from my perspective, a year later, how in the moment everything can feel very overwhelming. Under the weight of constant negativity, it’s hard to see what the lesson is, or why situations are occurring in the time and order that they are. I know that she must have these questions too.
In spite of everything happening to her, she remains positive. She is such an inspiration in the way she carries herself, especially in times of trial. And friend? Through her I am learning what it is like to treat every day as a new opportunity to rise to the occasion.
As we navigate the paths of our lives, especially in a social media age, we are very much unaware of what our impact is on others, or how the words we speak on a computer screen affect those who are reading them. But across the state, or across the globe, our friends are logging in to their social media pages, and they are reading. They are noticing every action you make, every word you type.
You are making an impact, whether you realize it or not.
Friend, I encourage you to make it a good one.