“That sounds weird, doesn’t it?” she says. “I’m sorry if it sounds weird. I don’t mean to be so annoying.”
I find myself overwhelmed in that moment. Because she’s not being annoying at all. In fact, she’s lovely in general, a pure delight to be around. And she’s just said something beautiful, insightful. Something funny.
She does that a lot, you know. She’s like that. A constant source of beauty, truth, and laughter.
But she can’t see it. Instead, she’s full of doubt. She worries incessantly that she’s ruining things simply by existing.
It’s not her fault. Someone told her that a long time ago, someone who was supposed to take care of her, to protect her. They didn’t. Instead, they tore her down before she had a chance to even grow in the first place.
But life is funny. There are people who will flourish in the worst environments. They not only survive conditions that kill others — they end up thriving. Still, they have their quirks. Side effects of those terrible times that they carry along with them for months or years after the fact.
She’s like that. And she knows it.
She views her idiosyncrasies as signs that she’s damaged. But I don’t see it that way. To me, they’re more like the patina on a sculpture. She has character, depth, life.
“There’s no need to be sorry,” I say. “And I’m not annoyed.”
“Well, you look troubled,” she cannily observes.
“I am,” I admit. “But it’s not because you’re doing anything wrong. Not because you’re annoying. Because you aren’t.” I pause and think about how I want to say it. Finally, I add, “I don’t want you to feel like you need to edit out the best parts of yourself. Not with me. Not with anyone.”