For eight months, I’ve navigated virtual counseling with a young client that showed up in person for the first time today.
A Bath and Body Works scent hits my nose as we hug, “Well, don’t you smell good.” I say, pulling away to take in the real-life human standing before me. With the smirk, “Yeah, it’s to mask my weird smell.”
I love my job and this refreshing breath of air that’s walked their Birkenstocks into my office.
Sprawled out on the couch, legs up, head back, they continue, “Someone told me I smelled weird in middle school, so I’m super self-conscious about it.”
“Weird? Like a human and all the natural smells a human can be?” I not so conspicuously bring my nose to my armpit, the sniff confirms my suspicion. But not that it matters any, the room’s fragrant enough to mask the both of us.
Despite the day’s high points, the drive home has my thoughts returning to my cousin’s bridal shower and the conflict I’m in about it. I call and prepare myself, but there are too many rings and I say, “Savanah, please call me.”
Minutes later, seeing her name is both relieving and terrifying. “Hey.” “Hey, what’s up?” “So I’m having a hard time and anxious about coming to your bridal shower.” “Oh, Jaclynn. You know me, I don’t care.” “Yeah, but it’s for you, and I want, you need-.” Something stops me. An emotion I didn’t know existed comes flooding in.
Tears streak my cheeks, and I struggle over words.”I don’t want to not to be there for you, ya know?” “Jaclynn, I know. It’s seriously ok. You know me. We’ve been through so much together.”
I needed her to say those words and to know that we’d be ok.
The takeaway is a major one for me. It’s not just about me showing up for others; it’s also how they show up for me. And how we’re able to meet somewhere in the middle.