You spot her moving through the airport.
She obviously travels often, and is more than prepared to move swiftly and unimpeded through the security check.
She sits in the food court, laptop on, phone ringing away, deals being done as the buzz drones on around her.
She takes her seat on the plane, settles in to do more work, or perhaps read a book. She texts someone to say she is about to take off, and that she will text them when she lands.
You chat to her on the plane, she owns her own house, has her own business that she loves, has a live-in partner and some adorable pets.
When landing comes, her phone is alive with texts and emails.
You think, she really has her shit together.
She is obviously a successful business woman.
She is obviously loved and well-liked.
She appears efficient, she knows what she is doing.
But, there is plenty you don’t know.
Things that don’t show.
Things she doesn’t admit.
Not just to you, but also not to most of her friends, or to even some of her family.
That boyfriend, they’ve been arguing.
Her ex-husband – the one who has battled with mental health issues for many years? They are best friends now, but she still worries about him constantly.
She misses her step kids so much it makes her lose it if she thinks about it too much.
She is self-employed, and while she loves it and is killing it, it means she is always a little bit petrified about making ends meet.
Her brother is struggling, her mother might be unwell – they are still waiting for results.
Sometimes, she feels like she is hanging on by a thread.
But, she gathers herself up, and she pushes on.
Because she must.
There is no other option.
The moral of the story?
They say to never judge a book by its cover, and that is true.
But even when you may try to look beyond the cover, sometimes you will just never know what battles others are fighting.
That woman who seems so self-assured and on top of things… she could be struggling.
The geeky looking guy who doesn’t seem able to make conversation…he might be brilliant.
The man who is saving lives every day, and gets along with everyone…he could be suffering from crippling depression and anxiety.
Let’s be kind to each other.