Birthdays in the social media era. Stephen is downstairs whipping cream (I can hear that scraping buzz of beaters against bowl) and I'm sitting at the computer going through my newsfeed, thanking people for their sweet greetings.
There's a lot you can say about the negatives of social media, but on your birthday, it's a lovely parade of people. You scroll and like, scroll and comment, and it's a little like getting birthday cards but moremoremore, and all I can think is, look at all of these people I've been privileged to know. It's kind of like when they say your life flashes in front of your eyes, but it's all your people flashing in front of your eyes. And you don't have to die.
When I was a kid, when I was a young adult, all I felt like was a loser. I wonder how I would have felt about myself had I had the chance to sit and watch this parade of people each stop by to say hello.
I keep thinking about that thing President Biden said in his inauguration speech. It's funny. The pomp and excitement of that day is a blur now, but I always remember three words he said. Enough of us.
I can't even remember exactly what he was talking about, now, but I remember how that phrase made me stop. And think. And write it down.
Alright, I'm looking it up now. He said, "In each of these moments, enough of us came together to carry all of us forward."
He was talking about the Civil War, the Great Depression, World Wars, 9/11. He was talking about racism and nationalism and maybe the pandemic too. With all the negativity in the country, with all the negativity in all the people in the country, there's always been enough of us who strive to do the right thing. Just those three words made me feel better about the country I was living in. And now, sitting here scrolling through, watching this parade of lovely people, I think, yeah, you all are the enough of us.