There are few people in my life who “get” me. People who get that I need to create, the same way I need to breathe. People who know that within my extreme quiet, so much more is being said. People who know that if I stop writing or creating, something is wrong. Not something surface level, like a broken nail, but something more of the internal conflict kind. People who understand me know the things I do are far more about pieces of my heart than seeking some sort of recognition.
And since it’s really about my heart, I believe in sharing all of it. The good, the bad, the happy, and the hard times. Authentic means real. Life can be more real than we all like to admit some times. But, in it’s ‘realness’ is often where we find our strength, our support, and our selves.
Growing up, my dad had Multiple Sclerosis, and we didn’t dwell on it as a family, but I’ve always known, life is short and what you can do today may be taken from you tomorrow, so be happy. I can remember hearing his stumbles as a kid, in the quiet darkness of the house, knowing I couldn’t stop it from happening, but wishing I could. I saw him lose hobbies that he once loved and enjoyed. I saw him forced into an early retirement and miss out on things like chasing his grandkids. The disease may continue to change him physically, but he is still the same strong person in my eyes.
He had always promised, “I’ll dance at your wedding,” when I’d do something around the house as a kid. He held his promise. I don’t think we made it through the whole song, but that doesn’t even matter. We danced. A few spins around on a dance floor under the glow of lights. A long promise, meaning far more than any original intentions, fulfilled. That moment? It’s a reminder. Nothing should ever taken for granted. Not a little dance, nor a chance to jump in a puddle. Happiness is born out of overcoming, believing, and looking for the moments that make your heart burst. Because in your happiness, you’re making others happy. Happiness through color, noticing the details, doing your best, working hard, accomplishment, and the laughter of great friends. True friends who believe in you sometimes more than you believe in yourself.
It is those people. The people who text, message, or stop me to say, “Are you okay?” Those people have saved me in ways I’ll never be able to explain. One of them I married, and the others? They are some of my closest and dearest friends and mentors. It’s not that their words are groundbreaking or innovative, or that they have some sort of perceptive superpower. It’s more important than that.
They understand my heart.