Not okay 

Crying in an airport has happened to me on a couple of occasions. I don’t recommend it. No one really wants to be that person sobbing through the terminal, but if it happens to you, you just have to embrace it. A couple of years ago I was crying big tears in the airport and they wouldn’t stop coming. The guy taking my plane ticket said, “It’s okay to not be okay.” I started crying harder when he said that, because in that moment I wasn’t okay and I didn’t have energy to put on a smile and say, “I’m fine.” I sniffled, nodded a smile, and mumbled some thanks. No need to clean myself up to walk onto that plane. It’s okay to sob through that terminal. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s freeing for someone to give you permission to not be okay. This week someone apologized to me for being an Eeyore and not a Tigger that day – she said she was just really down about some things that had happened. I said, “Don’t apologize. It’s okay to not be okay,” and she looked up at me quickly. She reiterated, as if she’d never been sure about the idea: “It IS okay to not be okay, isn’t it?” Then she asked if she could quote me on her next piece of art. I might become famous. Or maybe I should give credit to that airline ticket agent, who didn’t even know me, but didn’t shrink at my not-okayness. Wherever you are today, remind yourself that it’s okay to not be okay, then give someone in your life permission to not be okay around you. Share the joys of life with each other, and also the burdens. 

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