The Simply In Good Company Life

Photo courtesy of Vogue Italia

And there I was sitting among them. Sitting among me really. There were 15 of us and there we were gathered, some on the celery green sofa, some on the pepper grey carpet, and others like me on the black chairs with little holes just big enough for your pen or pencil to get stuck in.

There was the one who was a former gang member, the ones who knew what it as like to be voiceless and bullied all too well, the ones who had been intimate with poverty, substance abusing family members, and mentally ill family members. There was her, her, her, and her who knew more than they wanted about sexual assault in its various ugly forms. There was the one who knew loss, the one who knew distance, and all of the ones who knew something about faith and were still piecing together the mosaic of what that looked like in their life.

We’d spent the last day and a half sharing each other’s stories and there I was, before I shared mine, already present. In each of them I saw a part of myself. In each of their voices I heard myself, my own joys, surprises, pain, frustration, hopefulness, joy, and redemption. In their eyes I saw my own vulnerability, and in their laughter heard my own  anxiety. And in their tears, yes there were tears, my own sorrow and yet my own awe in resiliency.  But perhaps what I saw, heard, felt, and knew most was my humanity. 

Photo courtesy of Vogue Italia

We live on a planet with over 6 billion people. We sit next to them on buses, trains, and planes. We give them money for groceries, shoes, or because they seem to be in need. We work with them, building, painting, cooking, teaching. We talk to them, we touch them, and yet I find we struggle to be them. We struggle to be ourselves, to exist with all that has happened, all that is happening, and all that we hope for. We struggle to let one another be- be a culmination of what has happened, be present in what is happening, and to hope for whatever they need or want to happen. 

But that day and a half, I didn’t struggle. I was human. Maybe it’s because I was in good company. Maybe because I was with 14 other people who didn’t want to struggle but just wanted to know and be known.

It’s my one month anniversary at my new job and I have learned more about me in the past 30 days here than I have in the past 30 years. Being human has been redefined and how I see humanity, my own human condition, has been shattered and I don’t want to rebuild it and make it like it was. I want to re- imagine it and I am grateful that I am among people, at least 14 people who I work with, who seem mighty fine with my human condition and allowing me to rebuild it.

Here’s what I am hoping this week. I am hoping you find some good company. I am hoping that whether it’s one person, four people, or fourteen people, that you find yourself among those who reflect you and all of your humanness simply allowing you to be. Not do, but just be. Be the culmination of what was, whats happening, and what you dare to believe can happen.

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