For the Hope-Full, and the Hope-Filled, and the Hope-Less (and a giveaway!)

“Aliza,” he said, and his voice sounded full so I craned my neck to listen closer and she was there, too, smiling, looking directly into my heart as he spoke.

“It’s okay to not be okay.”

I sat back, and the tears welled up behind my sunglasses. Because no one had ever said those words to me before. And maybe, even if someone had said them, maybe I wouldn’t have believed them, because doesn’t being broken scream to people that you’re weak?

So my friends, Nick and Sarah, they say this to me, on a six-hour road trip to the capital city of Canada. While the trees roll by, and the silence seems holy, and these words are the kind that sit in the pit of your soul just aching to be spilled out of your lips and given as a precious offering to others.

We are twenty-three, and twenty-two…

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