I am new here. New as of less than two years here, but feeling new, nonetheless. Sometimes it is a wonderful feeling to be new, to have the freedom to invent. Yet it comes with the loss of the colors and contours of story, buried beneath a frenzy to belong. What a wild feeling: to seek belonging when only a part of you is visible to new eyes. So we create this culture of strangers,; where loneliness masquerades as busy and we come together to talk through—-not with—-one another.
The only difference between a friend and a stranger is opportunity. My deepest wish is to shrink the distance between all of us: staff, faculty, students, so that we can exist together in this radical moment, in this radical place—… audaciously materializing our greatest aspirations—…together. So without reason or agenda, I write to you with intentional inefficiency as I have the privilege of doing for the Residential Life staff once in a while. As you read this, I hope that you are in a good place,; where your flow state is on point, and the vibes are good. I hope that you have a mug of your favorite tea, and warm socks on and music that makes you feel connected and seen. I hope that what came before and what is to come after is good or at least neutral. I hope that you will sleep with calmness in your heart tonight.
But if you are anywhere but there right now, I just wanted to say, that that is ok too. You don’t have to smile if your heart can’t. The world asks too much of each of us, and we let it because somewhere in the back of our minds we’ve made up a story of who we are if we don’t show up. We’ve made up this story that we’re somehow not worthy of the love and care of the people around us, of this place, of this experience, if we show up a little ruffled, a little messy.
When did you decide that this version was the you that had to be hidden? That they wouldn’t be loved or held? Do you see how special and interesting this wild, /chaotic, /turbulent, /wicked mess-of-a-you is? Because I do, and I want them at my side; sipping my B+ tea in a chipped Ikea mug. Get on with the judgment of them already, if you must. Give it all you’ve got and then please—-step .off.
Because Wellesley wants that magical unicorn here with the rest of us imperfect, scattered dingledoddies, trying to make sense of ambitions and plans that aren’t nearly as grandly curated as we said they were that one time that important person asked us.
The fact is, none of us knows what we are doing, really. We’re all just figuring it out together, doing the best with what we have in the moment,…making a ton of mistakes, leaving a trail of important things behind us and then tearing ourselves to pieces for it afterwards.
And yet, we keep going. In this ridiculous construct of the human endeavor, we find our momentum and we keep going and here’s why.
You are going to figure it out, and you have everything you need to get to where you want to go. You are devastatingly brilliant and uniquely gorgeous, and don’t you see how you stun the world with the way that you show up for one another? You are the wordless goodness that others soak in just because you walked into the room. You are the truth teller that never lets a sib walk into the shadow alone. You are the brilliant mind that makes unique meaning out of facts and data in a way that only you can see. You are the powerful goddess that turns anger into vision into dialogue into community into love. You and I may be strangers and still I know this to be true of you. I do, because you are here, reading the words of a presumed stranger, listening to your heart to tell you the thing that you most need to hear
And right now, there is a lot in your sphere and it can wash your confidence away if you let it take you there. Please see what I see, for just a moment. A person—, a beautiful, miracle of a person— with a deep enigmatic well of power and capacity.
You are courage. You are light and joy. You are possibilities and creativity. You are persistence. All of this, within one body, hoping that YOU will see it too.
Be the love that you need right now. Be the gentleness that you seek right now. Know that everything that you are, and everything that you have is enough if you exaggerate what is good and shrink down the nonsense.
Take a deep breath in and feel all your goodness wash over you. Breathe out and release yourself of your suffering and burden. Breathe in and fill your belly with gratitude for your ability to find steadiness and calm. Breathe out and ease into the you that you were always meant to be.
With love and gratitude in my heart—- whether friend or stranger—- I wish you love, I wish you peace and I wish you the deepest feeling of connection.
All my best,