It is. Fine. I promise.
It will be. Fine. At some point.
I can’t complain.
Everything is fine.
Last week, I had one thing to do. My counselor gave me homework, simple homework. Count every time I said, “It’s fine.”
I lost count. I started the week writing it on my phone.
“Susan apologized for yelling at me.” I said, “It’s fine.”
“I bombed a test. Told Zoe. Said it’s fine.”
“Had a bad break up.” “It’s fine.”
It’s fine fine fine fine fine fine. Do you hate that word yet? Are you sick or reading it yet? Do you want to punch me in the face? Because I’m sick of writing it. I’m sick of saying it. It’s not fine, but that’s not bad. It doesn’t have to be fine.
I don’t know why I feel the need to constantly say those two little words. Maybe I don’t want to draw attention to myself. I don’t want to complain when I know I’m so blessed. I don’t want to force my own worries on other people. I don’t want to make anyone out to be the bad guy. I don’t want to cry.
So I gloss it over. I pull out all the pain, pave out the edges, peel off the sharp colors to paint a soothing blue on top and tie it off with a bow. I wave my hand in the air and smile.
“It’s fine, really. How are you?”
I had one of the worst weeks of my life this month. Really and truly, it was horrible. At one point I said the words, “I thought weeks like this only happened in movies.”
That week, my motto was “it’s fine.” I wanted to be held why I cried. I wanted to take a break from life. I wanted to scream for hours until I felt all the frustration leave my body. So instead of doing any of that, I said “I’m fine.” Until the end of the week, that is, when I finally broke down crying, pacing my living room with my phone to my ear, listening to my mom pray for me and my dad try to calm me down.
I learned something that week, though. I learned that it wasn’t fine. And it didn’t have to be. Yes, there were people in the world who were having infinitely worse weeks than I was, but that didn’t negate the pain I was going through. The people around me had their own crap to work through, but my friends still wanted to listen to me. I was still surrounded by love. And in that moment, it didn’t have to be fine. I didn’t have to be strong, unbreakable and unyielding. I could say, “you know what, no, it’s not fine, and that’s okay.”