Lately, I came across a few women whose voices I’ve followed through the years. I wondered how I should act around them. Should I confess how much I adore them, how much of their lives I already knew? Or should I play it cool and pretend I’m hearing their story for the very first time?
I ran through a dozen scenarios in my head. Lost sleep over these encounters. But I realized that all I needed to do was to tell the truth. I told them they inspire me because they do. I said thank you for their time because I value it. But I realized that I shouldn’t confuse the truth with my expectations.
We often see our idols as people who have figured it all out. They bear the answers to our questions. All we need to do is ask. But they don’t really have the answers. Maybe they’ve asked better questions, experienced more failures. But they don't always know what to do or how to act, just like us.
There is no map to figuring out life, and that is what makes it exciting. That is what makes it yours.
Don’t stop looking up to these people, but choose them wisely. Choose the ones who share the hours and hours of their becoming. The ones who struggle yet have learned to dance with the fear. The ones who remind you that your voice matters too.
And when you find them, don't put them on a pedestal. Don't set them up to fail. See them for who they are: little reminders of life's infinite possibilities.
Story by Ayen dela Torre
Art by Rachel Halili