There is no greater sanctuary than a school bathroom. Don’t believe me? Try going in during class period. There is something oddly comforting about the emptiness of the place, and it has strangely become a personal escape route when things get too much during the day. Sometimes I cry, and sometimes I rant to my friend on the phone, who lives miles away, and one who is probably fed up with the amount of times this routine has transpired. (I do not know how she has still not blocked me, to be honest).
Believe me, I would much rather not admit this to hundreds of people online. And yeah, you never asked for it, but I still said it. I said it because we are all in the same boat. Perhaps not all of us cry in random places, yet we all share moments of weakness, and most importantly, we believe others don’t. After all, how can some know what it means to struggle if perfection is written all over their face – if you cannot find a single flaw or sign of weakness within them?
Take any person that came to your mind just now. For me, it’s the girl with perfect hair. A few days ago, she began to tie a messy bun, and a wave of shock brushed through me when I realized that even her messy bun looks like it’s out of Pinterest. In fact, her entire being looks hand picked from a magazine. Her style is elegant yet casual, and her smile could be posted upon a billboard for others to admire, to be jealous of, even. Her physique and image do not harbor a single flaw. A person like her simply cannot know of self-hatred or struggle.
I recall a dear friend of mine, the main inspiration behind me purchasing an Apple Watch. She never lets go of hers, and I have come to convince myself that it is the secret behind her success. Time always seems to be on her side, after all. If you doubt this, know that she wakes up at five in the morning to exercise. Every day. Her intelligence is purely admirable, and her ethics produce nothing but hard work. Her academic success screams perfection. In the eyes of others, she is in complete control of her life.
Now, take my friend with a nonprofit organization. My other friend with the heart of gold. A girl I met on the bus, two days ago, with the looks of a model. Honestly, it seems as though everyone is winning at life. Except me. Except us.
And yet they are not.
My friend, who runs a nonprofit at the age of sixteen, hugs me everyday. Everyday, I give her a smile. “At least someone’s happy”, she remarks. I never understood how an accomplished person like her could be unhappy, until I noticed the tiredness of her eyes. I think of all the times she must have forgotten the feeling of rest, because of the anxiety that gripped her awake. She, too, must have been tired. She, too, must have had oh so many moments of weakness.
I recall the day I listened to the dear friend of mine, with time always on her side, silently cry on the steps of our school building. She, too, was struggling. She, too, was confused, and she did not know what to do. She was burnt out, afraid to run out of time. Her tears were as real as mine all those times I cried before, her eyes even more red than mine.
We are all the same. We are all moving on this Earth, trying to accomplish anything of substance. We are all tired, and we are all afraid. And though this seems bitter to swallow, I recognize this fact with a friend of mine in mind – a friend who, even in moments of weakness, always believes he’ll be fine.
I believe so too. Because if the most talented people, who seem to exude nothing short of perfection, have contemplated surrender, there simply cannot be a single person who hasn’t known struggle in their life.
And yet, in the end, they all seem to have turned out just fine.
And so will you.