A little over a year ago, following the announcement that the Supreme Court had ruled bans on same-sex marriages unconstitutional, I felt myself emboldened enough to publish a blog post in which I professed myself gay to my social media network. The act, inspired by a moment of reluctance to accept the rainbow profile picture filter, took a bit of wild courage, but it was a wildly liberating and important step.
Almost instantly, the post gathered a social media response. Kind messages, likes, and private messages ranging from support to challenge, all intended out of love. What I hadn’t expected, however, were the moments of outreach from people facing their own struggle. How’d you do it? some asked, How’d you say it in front of everybody?
I learned, from that experience, the power of sharing our stories. When we speak to the struggles we’ve faced, we light the way for others to know they aren’t alone in theirs, and possibly open ourselves up to connect and help one another through.
Here’s another thing I know: We twenty-somethings all have a story. Everybody has a struggle they’re carrying around, and – no matter how much anybody pretends to ‘have it together’ – we’re all trying to figure it out. Like I said in entry 2, nobody’s immune from the mess.
Empathy reconnects us, and it invigorates us to rejoin the climb of life. Whenever I’ve felt like a mess, I’ve had friends who’ve shared recent struggles, and the knowledge that I haven’t been alone in my confusion has lit the path. Somebody out there needs your story, twenty-somethings, so speak up.