Often we invalidate our feelings because of guilt, because we feel the problem isn’t “big enough”, and so it grows quietly into something that damages our everyday functioning. You wouldn’t not attend to a bleeding cut on your finger because someone else has an open wound. “Others have it worse” is not a reason for us to not live the best version of ourselves.
I’ve often wondered what it means to be a good friend.. It sounds like an easy role to play but it can be challenging: friendship is voluntary, not bound by any contract. As I grow older and watch relationships change, I often wonder how I’d define “being there”. It’s not always possible to be clued into friends’ lives, and more often than we’d like to admit, we don’t really know what’s going on in the lives of our loves ones. I watch friends go through illness and divorce, get married and have kids, move countries and rebuild lives from scratch. After a lot of thinking I’ve concluded that being a good friend means creating a safe space. No judgement, no fear, full acceptance. A space in which they can be themselves.
I made this comic for a dear friend who was going through a rough patch.
Here’s wishing for a world without limits. In which we can walk the streets without having to carry with us a variety of self-defence mechanisms and tools (pepper spray, umbrellas, scarves, pen knives.. the list is endless), without having to be on high alert and think of what-ifs, without having constant anxiety. A world in which we don’t feel guilty for the choices we make, as women are so often wired to feel. A world in which we speak up more and are listened to. A world in which we aren’t stared at, objectified, restricted, ignored, subdued, marginalized, controlled, suppressed, groped, abused, manipulated and silenced.