TO THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T COMPLETE ME, BUT RATHER ENRICH MY LIFE BY BEING IN IT

  1. "You're always on your phone," they say.
  2. "Put it down and engage with the world."
  3. How do I explain that's exactly what I'm doing?
  4. I'm comforting friends.
  5. Sharing stupid jokes.
  6. Offering support.
  7. Building a community.
  8. Because what these people who tell you to put down the phone and engage with the world fail to realize is that community as they knew it has shifted.
  9. It used to be our neighbors.
  10. The trash collector.
  11. The checker at the market.
  12. But now, it's @handles.
  13. It's avatars.
  14. It's people who offer virtual hugs when life is shit.
  15. And high fives when something awesome happens.
  16. It's people who will call you out on your bullshit.
  17. Who are willing to criticize and question to stimulate growth and awareness.
  18. People who celebrate your successes because you've earned it;
  19. contributed something of value,
  20. made a positive difference.
  21. And not just because you are a woman, a minority, an other,
  22. as if you need the charity.
  23. It's strangers on the other side of the world who offer words of encouragement when the stresses of life become so crippling you struggle to get out of bed some days and you can't tell people on this side of the phone because they'll call you weak.
  24. My community is stronger because of these people.
  25. Because of you.
  26. The people who don't complete me, but rather enrich my life by being in it.