I shivered with delight when he walked through the library doors. Brown hair and light green eyes, that reminded me of a sunlit pond.Standing behind the security of the information desk, I smiled and nodded a quiet hello.
When he approached, my heart sped up. “Anything I can help you with?”
“Are we in a class together? I feel like I’ve seen you around campus…”
Hours later, when I walked back to my dorm from my part time job at the library, a smile played on my lips. I had met his gaze, held a coherent and flirtatious fun conversation, and had been completely myself.
“It’s working,” I whispered under my breath.
The experiment of the semester.
Having moved countries and entire continents throughout my entire childhood, I often hid behind a cloak of silence, self-imposed invisibility and people-pleasing. Constantly feeling as though the trends, culture, communication, friendship and humor of a place were always just beyond my grasp and understanding… I was quiet and constantly anxious about fitting in, all the while my soul screaming to speak and be seen, heard, and valued.
The grand experiment of the semester: stop it!
All the hiding, the over-thinking, worrying and people antenna pleasing (trying to know what people wanted before they said a word).
The grand experiment: start…
Speaking out, engaging, looking ahead instead of down, asking questions, laughing, standing out as myself regardless of whether I was accepted or shunned…
It was working.
This #storybystory is for the man in the library whose name I have forgotten, but who saw me, heard me and reminded me on a soul level that I am free to be myself.
It’s incredible what a single conversation, question or shared joke can communicate to those around us, especially when we pause to see and speak to those within the sphere of our existence.