Words kept her up late at night. Words and coffee that had grown cold. She really only drank coffee for the smell. She sat mulling over her life in intimate detail. She had a notebook on her lap, and her pen poised above the leftover school notebook paper. She was just home for a visit. Time was short as it always is. So, she silently thought the minutes away.
She thought of all the people who told her that life after high school would be so different than planned. She thought of all the dream-slayers who shot down her dreams before she could finish explaining them. She thought of the well-meaning women who preached at her to stay pure, and to never be sucked in by the world.
She thought of all the ladies who assumed Ever After had to include a man. She thought of all the critics of life. She thought of every woman who ever told her never to read a romance novel…because those books weren’t reality. Those books would paint a false picture of love and marriage. She thought of all the things that people say.
Then the girl with cold coffee thought of all the things that people didn’t say.
Because people don’t tell you that life after high school is actually better than you can imagine. It’s harder. It’s different. It’s a transition…but it’s a vital part of who you become. Different isn’t terrible, but adults don’t tell you that. They just say, “Oh you wait and see! It gets harder from here. You have no idea.”
Because the dream-slayers don’t share their whole story. What made them fail? How was achieving the dream difficult? What made them stagger? What forced them to give up? What did they learn from the journey? But dream-slayers don’t tell you those things. They just roll their eyes and say, “Your dreams will never happen. Big dreams are usually just big failures.”
Because women don’t explain the ways that helped them stay pure. And the women who fell don’t share how God’s forgiveness embraced them after they lost the fight. Most women don’t candidly share their story, so young girls are left in the dark thinking they are the only ones.
And people don’t tell you that it’s good to be single.
And people don’t talk about the joys in life, instead they breathe out problems in complaints, arguments, and misguided passion.
And women don’t tell you that love is better than a romance novel. Real life love is more ordinary, more strained, more needed, more fulfilling, and more lovely than a cheap romance novel. But wives don’t share that side.
So the girl with cold coffee sits cross-legged in the dark at 12:38 am, and she is upset by these thoughts. People only tell part of the story. They tell the side of the story that is easiest to tell, and hardest to hear. After all, criticism and scorn is easier to come by than candid encouragement laced with truth.
She finally writes,
“Tell me that adulthood is hard, but show me what you have learned. Tell me that dreams are lofty, but give me ways to achieve them. Tell me that doing right is difficult, but rally around to help me.
Tell me that a husband is wonderful, but explain to me that singleness is valuable. Tell me that living is tough, but remind me to count my blessings one by one and over again. Tell me that romance novels are vain, but describe to me the real romance of life.
Please listen. Your audience is impressionable. Your audience is vulnerable. Your audience is passionate. Each and every one of them is in need of you. How will you speak to them?”
Awaiting Your Response,
The Girl with Cold Coffee.
She has scrawled her words across the page. The letters are mostly legible. Tears are falling and her passion has had its say. People shout so many things, and they are often silently harmful. She folds the paper and slips it in a miscellaneous envelope. For now she needs to sleep, and she isn’t sure if her words will impact anyone at all. But the girl released these words from the cobwebs of her thoughts, and now she can succumb to rest.
Somehow these words made it to you, and the girl with cold coffee is asleep somewhere. She needs you today, and she’ll need you tomorrow.
Because youth is everywhere that you look.
And she is awaiting your response.