“‘Hey, How’s it going?’
‘Good, and how are you?’
Often, do you wonder how much that isn’t true?
Will you help me out if you can?
I’ll take you as you are,
Please, just take me as I am.”
-“I Want Something to Live For” by The Rocket Summer
I will never forget the day I met Topher. I have many friends who I love dearly, but none ever came into my life so quick, so brash, and so wonderfully as this one. We met in our college cafeteria. I was sitting with my friend, Becci, when he sat down with us. I was a different person then. I carried more questions in my life than answers; painful questions that held me back. I sat silently with them, listening, if not slightly detached.
Then he turned to me, exasperated, and said, “Do you ever smile?”
I was taken aback. My eyes doubled in size and my words scattered like birds at the blunt trauma of his question. Considering it was the first sentence he had ever spoken to me, it seemed like a terribly rude choice.
But the truth was that I didn’t smile. I never did during those years, and no one had ever asked why.
Until that day.
From that moment on, we became friends of the most transparent kind. We came to one another as we were, and in our weakest moments, we found an invitation:
“Meet me at the clock.”
It was a place of honesty where we could say the things we felt the world wasn’t ready for. Everything you could think to talk about: fears, dreams, tears, laughter and the sincerity we both longed for, but wasn’t sure how to share it with everyone else yet. We found that in one another, and I have never known a better friend since.
I find myself saying this today because lately it seems like there’s not enough transparency between people. Maybe it’s just a season, but lately it feels like everywhere I turn people are walking away from one another, and it breaks my heart in ways I can’t explain.
Maybe I am naive because I don’t understand it. I see the faces of people I care about in so much pain because they love so deeply only to be abandoned, and I question how in the world anyone can walk away from a love like that. And I know answers to questions like that aren’t simple or clean, and that they vary from person to person, but I believe wholeheartedly that these are the moments where we need to send that message to each other.
“Meet me at the clock.”
Meet me here, in this moment, with transparency and a willingness to talk. A place where we can laugh, scream, cry, or simply just sit in silence with arms wrapped around one another. Here at the clock, we cannot be convicted, only heard.
Here at the clock, we grapple with the struggles together.
Here at the clock, we celebrate our wins together.
Here at the clock, we let ourselves be exactly who we are in this moment.
Here at the clock, we learn to smile again.
Here at the clock…
Do you need to meet someone here? If so, I implore you to reach out to them today. Find a safe place, set everything else aside, and open your mind. Be honest with one another. Try to see with their eyes, walk in their boots, and do these things together.
You weren’t made to walk alone. Don’t.