I don’t know if you know me. You probably don’t really, truly know me. You might hear me say I’m feeling down or I’ve been sad lately. Maybe I’ll blame it on the weather or on that time of the month. Maybe I’ll say things are overwhelming and work is crazy. And that could very well be it. You might notice my voice sounds monotone when I talk or I keep to myself a little bit more. You might notice when I look up at you that I’m trying my best to seem pleasant and cheerful, but deep down it’s like trying to keep the ocean from coming up to the shore. The sadness isn’t something I can always hold back. And it might come during a busy work week and you might not know it but I’m trying hard to keep it together. To finish all my work and stay focused and stay upbeat and stay on track and stay on my goals and find time to exercise. Maybe from far away it looks like I’m always happy all the time. Or maybe you can see past it. Today when that sadness came, when the feeling of drowning held my insides and I wanted to hide under my covers, but I couldn’t because I was at work, out in the world, I didn’t want to fight it. I wanted it to disappear or to let go of its hold on me. But I didn’t want to fight it. Because those feelings of sadness deserve the space to be there just like the feelings of joy that I feel when I’m around people I love and we’re laughing at a silly joke and I’m covering my face because it’s wrinkled when I laugh that hard. Today I prayed to God about my sadness, about everything I felt. I told him I felt lonely, that I wanted to feel his peace. And you know what he did? He was so kind to me as he always is. Two of my coworkers sat down to work. And then Addison stopped by my desk. And when I looked up at him, he said “you look so sad.” And he was the only person who said something. And I knew God heard my prayer. And I know that nothing in this world matters, these materialistic, aesthetic, egotistical wants and desires and the striving and the titles, none of those matter. What matters is how we love, how we treat one another, and the care we put into the beautiful people and experiences that are really what make life so magical. The time we take for those we care deeply about and the respect we have for each and everyone who crosses our paths. I believe that is what truly matters most. And maybe from afar you might comment on how tall I am or what I’m wearing or how my hair looks or why I might look tired. But you don’t really know me. What you see is not always a representation of who I am. But I do hope the love I have in my heart, the faith that I so deeply feel, the courage and the care shines brightly even when I’m having the darkest of days.