I met a young girl named Emilie today. She went by Ems for short. She attended my book signing with her mom. As I spoke with another interested customer about my book, The Beginner's Guide to Finding Your Brave, Emillie sort of hovered around. Usually, when people do that at one of these events, they are trying to decide if I am worth the $10 in their pocket. If I can get them to chat for one minute, then they are mine, and I have earned their audience and money.
Ems went away and came back with her mother. I explained to her that my book was about bravery in every sense of the word. "We need to choose bravery every day" and "the question of bravery is about the choice of progression or stagnation" are my favorite lines. A few words landed right with Emilie, and she recommended the book to her mom. She mentioned that she had no problem speaking her mind, it was "courageous" action she had trouble with. Her mom interjected, "yeah, like deciding not to go to homecoming." Their relationship reminded me a lot of girls in my high school that could talk back to their parents; my sisters and I did not have that luxury.
During the conversation, the young girl whispered to her mom that she did not want her to mention the depression. I could tell that she wanted me to hear because she said it in a way that I could understand precisely what she said. She said it in one of those talk-whispers. Standing behind the small round table, I thought to hand her a dum dum from my candy bowl, but the thought registered as foolish, so I just stood there unsure if she wanted to converse about her depression or not. If she brings it up again, I thought to myself then the topic is open for a deep dive.
Emilie's sister and her boyfriend walked in and asked what was going on. I smiled and encouraged Emillie to write her story. Share what was bothering her and what she had done in the past to move past depressive moods and thoughts.
I ask two questions when people stop at my table, are you a reader and a writer or both. No matter when the answer is I suggest writing as a form of therapy. I recommend the practice because most of us don't know what to say to each other. We care too much about our words and less about our mental health. We need to do more talking, and maybe we will found ourselves.
I did not say this, I signed her book and hugged her. More hugging may also save humanity as well.