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context is queen

context is queen
By Beautiful Voyager • Issue #50 • View online
“We will not have failure — only success and new learning.” — Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

Two years ago, at my high school reunion, an old friend told a story about the time she came to visit during my freshman year of college. I was distant, she said. Aloof. I told her I didn’t have the energy to do anything and that I needed to stay in bed most of the weekend. She left early, disappointed and confused.
At the reunion, she understood for the first time what had happened. She’d been reading Beautiful Voyager and was learning more about mental health. She said, “I think you were shutting down in response to stress.”
She was right. For me, no pill needed.
She was right. For me, no pill needed.
Yesterday, a former coworker entrusted me with her first impressions of me in our workplace. “I could hear you talking snake once with your boss,” she said. “I thought negatively of you.” I apologized to her for my pettiness and thanked her for giving me another chance.
“No,” she said. “I realize now that you were trying to please her.”
She was right. At work, I double the need to please.
She was right. At work, I double the need to please.
These moments are huge reminders of something I’ve long suspected: If I’d never spoken up about my mental health, I’d never be seen clearly by people who matter. Me minus mental health awareness = an incomplete portrait rife with misunderstanding.
Think a little about this in your own life. What context might be missing when others don’t understand your mental health challenges? How could that change if you started to speak up about your fears and vulnerabilities?
Perception is a many-layered thing. The more you share of yourself, the more complex and real the picture becomes. Don’t miss the chance to share more of yourself today.
Happy Father’s day.
Love, Meredith
Rodney Meredith Arthur (1941-2013) and Alice Arthur (age 1)
Rodney Meredith Arthur (1941-2013) and Alice Arthur (age 1)
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