How do you watch someone go through hell?
You can show so much kindness and love, but when faced with certain truths, that only goes so far.

Learning someone’s backstory is an amazing thing. For the most part, I love hearing people talk about their lives and their ordeals. Firstly, it’s an absolute honour to be trusted, so thank you for that. Secondly, hearing someone talk about everything they’ve been through (note: past tense, no longer affects them) is kind of like reading The Hobbit for the first time. Or maybe The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. Everyone has had their own personal dramas. Hearing about them for the first time is like having your eyes opened to a whole new world you weren’t quite aware existed – a story behind a cover.

Sure, the reality is never really all that glamorous. There won’t be any dragons, there (most likely) won’t be gold or jewels, and there (probably) won’t be a drive through a tunnel in the back of a pick-up truck either. But it can blow my mind, hearing people talk about these things (their lives, not dragons – though in primary school I had a friend obsessed with dragons, and we got on like a house on fire, so maybe it can blow my mind hearing people talk about them too). It’s all part and parcel of getting to know someone, which is great, because that means it can happen as often as you let it.

These stories aren’t just stories though. And they don’t always have a positive conclusion. Which is when you have to take a deep breath and squeeze someones hand. And I think that’s kind of the point, in a roundabout way. Find the people you can’t keep a frown around, and get to know them, let them know you. Find what makes you smile, and don’t let it slip from your sight. Even hell can’t be that bad with the right company.

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