"How are you?"
Ok meaning, "I really don't want to tell you that I'm exhausted, frustrated, overwhelmed, discouraged, burned out, in need of a vacation but there's nowhere to go and no one to go with and because I feel like a bother to everyone."
"You're always smiling."
Smiling because despite the depths of despair I find myself in, I know that God is good. But it's easy and takes less face muscles to do and goes a lot further when dealing with others, especially feeling precarious in this unfriendly world. Don't look at my eyes which would show that I may or may not have been crying about 10 minutes ago. Thankful for glasses to hide that fact.
"Nothing seems to faze you. You're so chill."
Depends on what it is. But there are things that do keep me up at night.
It's easy to keep myself running and running so I can just fall asleep and not spend too much time getting tangled in my own thoughts and things that make me nervy, that my dad isn't doing as well as we thought, the stress of dealing with arrogant people who think they're better than you because they have letters after their names, the whole messiness that is writer's block when I need my creativity to thrive and survive.
Then there's the whole messiness of my own human frailty and that of others, which always generates friction, knowing that I'm going to have to go through the new roommate process all over again when my amazing current housemate finally gets to pursue what she truly loves to do in a country very far away. The concept of flying solo scares me, especially living in a first floor apartment in a sometimes sketchy neighborhood. I have options, that's not the thing, there are so many others in my position trying to get by. It's the always running, always moving, always feeling so vulnerable, learning not to cling to anything too tightly.
I know things always seem to work out, but everything all at once is too much.