These days, I am living in my Gmail inbox, breathing in stories of souls who come to me with heavy hearts.
But if you asked me what I’m doing, I’m just as likely to tell you I’m in the business of designing fashionable kneepads.
“Kneepads?” you’re saying.
Yes, kneepads. And elbow pads and wrist pads and helmets, too.
But not just any kind of kneepads. Fashionable ones.
We are in the business of protection and prevention and healing, but we’re making it personal and attractive.
We’ll have pink glitter ones for the Glam Gals. Camouflage prints for the Deer Hunters and ROTC members. Argyle for the Preps and plaid for the Westerners. Teal and tan for the California Surfer Boys and black and purple for the Rocker Chicks.
We’ll stock them in all the university colors and people will begin to buy them as graduation presents because what better way to say “welcome to your new life” than to suit up for an epic battle with impending disaster?
Growing up, my mom had to wrestle my Barbie bike helmet onto my head. She had to paint a picture of what might’ve happened if I had an accident and wasn’t wearing it.
And even then, that didn’t stop me from complaining about the bangs in the eyes or the constant itching at the back of my neck as my ponytail scratched me.
That didn’t stop me from feeling like a Loser with a capital L.
But these days, I am wishing it were that easy—strap on your kneepads and helmet and swerve to avoid all the orange cones:
Loneliness. Depression. Breakups. Anxiety. Divorce. Suicide.
I am learning, with each new email, that we are all hiding behind the Cool Factor.
It’s not cool to be depressed or self-harming or bulimic or otherwise unable to cope with change and disaster and heartbreak and low self-esteem.
But it happens.
So I am hoping we can unravel this piece of fabric knotting our lips together in favor of something new—open minds and fashionable kneepads and attractive ways to say You Aren’t The Only One Suffering.
Because you’re not. Have I told you that lately?