“I’m glad I get to see you a little before I head home.”
“Yeah, me too,” I said.
He then started talking to me about college, and how he’s unsure of what to do because he doesn’t have any abilities or talents.
“Nick, are you serious?” I said aggressively.
I continued, “Do you want me to start? I’ll start anyway but…”
“Start…what?” Nick asked.
“Please. You are a great guitarist, a great singer, a great football player, a great leader, a great public-speaker, a great student who is incredibly smart, a great listener, an amazing friend….and a lot more. So please, please, please, please, please. Don’t be that person. Don’t be the person who can’t see how great s/he is. Because you have so much going on for you. And you should be proud of it.”
“But, Jane, when you talk like that…I realize you don’t apply this to yourself.”
“….you know why I’m telling you this? Because I know what it’s like to be someone who is not completely grateful for what s/he has. I know what it’s like when one is not fully aware of one’s own capabilities. I know how ugly and small you can feel when you can’t see all the good things in yourself. And I don’t want that to happen to you.”
“Jane, you should live by what you say,” he said.
“I’m working on it. I’m not totally ungrateful, you know. There are some things that I thank God for. But…there are some gaps that I’m trying to fill. Just give me time.”
“In the meantime,” I continued, “I want you to know that it’s okay to sometimes show off something you did, because you actually did do that thing. It’s okay sometimes to not be modest and instead affirm that you’ve accomplished a certain objective. Take pride. That’s who you are and you’re doing what you love. And, well, you’re good at everything you do, so be happy about it.”
Nick looked at me, and said very soothingly, “Jane, allow me to do something.”
Before I knew it, he hugged me tightly and said, “I want you to be happy. I love to see you happy.”
“You will. At least I know that with you in my life, I’ll always be happy.”