It starts with a storm
The clouds looming above, the flashes of lightning,
The pouring rain, and the rainbow that follows
The lightning hit when she was rushed to the ER because her heart stopped
The thunder followed when I was told that she was a victim of self-harm and anorexia.
The rain poured for months, distorting my view of reality
I repeatedly asked myself if I could’ve stopped her from reaching for the blade,
If I wasn’t smart enough to see through her lies to avoid meals
However, as the rain poured down, new seeds were planted,
And I started to weed the garden
The storm led to the rainbow, when I started working with others like her
The storm carved me, and I used it to carve my own masterpiece
The beautiful women taught me acceptance of any and all viewpoints
Regardless of how outrageous they may be
They taught me inexorable work ethic and perseverance
But most importantly, they taught me unconditional love and understanding
Only at the practice could I have a completely normal conversation
With someone about their scars and how they came about each one
Nowhere else do teenage girls recount their suicide attempts to a stranger
Or take the time to try to explain to me the relief they get when they put down the blade when the cutting is over.
It’s the only place where I can attempt to understand a teenager’s desire to want to confine to the media’s portrayal of women and society’s expectations of perfection.
It’s where I can say I helped an adolescent became strong enough to come forward and get the help she needed.
No social boundaries, no class distinctions.
Any room is the same as the one next-door.
These breathtaking women encouraged me to choose service
And realize that true gratification doesn’t lie in a paycheck
Serving these women as a mentor, helper, and friend
Allowed me to find happiness in being there for people when they needed me
The storm made me choose to spend my life serving others
And I hope that one day,
My beautiful women will find as much happiness
As serving them brings me.