Do the striations, mineral deposits, colorations, or grains of rocks ever feel like their existence doesn’t matter to the overall formation?

Do the rings of a tree compare themselves to one another, share stories, or battle scars, questioning whether their appearance is flawed or a mistake?

Do the T-cells of a sick human ever feel worthless when the body they are meant to protect becomes infected?

While standing in my kitchen, observing the quartzite countertops I chose a few years ago during the remodeling process, I thought about all of these things. I chose metamorphic rock, quartzite, for its strength, beauty, and striation patterns. I knew it had experience in the world, it had stories, it had lessons to share with me.

Part of my countertops, the specific part that spoke to me.

This last week or so had me feeling deflated, unimportant, unnecessary, unworthy of, and in the work that I do. As I stood and stared at the patterns within the quartzite, I wondered if layers, minerals, or portions of striation patterns ever feel the same way? But, as I examined closer, looking comical I am certain with my eyes so close, nearly touching the countertop, I realize that the formation would indeed be incomplete without each individual piece no matter how small or insignificant it might seem or feel. You see, in geological processes, each color, line, fold, striation, cleavage, luster…they mean something, they tell the story of the rock. They speak and represent the very processes and experiences that rock has gone through over the course of hundreds of years. Void of even the slightest part of that formation, would render it incomplete, not just missing something, literally incomplete. My mind wandered to other creations, trees and their rings, T-cells and their role within the immune system…they are pieces of a complete puzzle, a narrative, an existence.

I constantly battle myself mentally.

Am I enough?

Why did I think I could accomplish this?

What did someone see in me that made them think I could do this?

Should I just go?

Do I decide to just fade into the background?

Do I give up?

Do I leave?

Am I meant for this space?

Today, quartzite helped me realize that yes, I am significant. I am not saying that I will not battle these thoughts tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, I absolutely will…but today for a moment at least, I know that I belong. I am meant to be here. The world, my family, my school, the world of education, social media, this blog…they would be incomplete without me. They wouldn’t merely be missing a component, they would be incomplete.

Think about that for a moment.

Incomplete vs missing

Missing merely means that the void is temporary, it was once filled and will be filled once again at some point. Incomplete means permanent void, unable to be what it is without the component necessary.

If that makes you uncomfortable, let’s sit in it for a while. Let’s dig into that. What does that mean?

If that makes you feel trapped, let’s unpack that. Think about it this way — this does not mean you have to be who and what you are in this moment, forever. There will be a time for you to move on to other things in which case you will and should move on, you should be a missing piece that will be replaced by something or someone else, meant to be in that place at that particular time.

What I want you to hear, is what I heard from the quartzite today. You are important, you are integral to the world, you are indeed significant to all of the components of your life. You may feel unsettled, and you may feel like it is time to move on, your role in some part of your life needs to change, you need to be replaced and find the location that is incomplete without you, physically or metaphorically. And that’s okay. Make the scary moves.

Just know, you make the world complete, without you — it is incomplete. You are worthy. You are significant. You are a ring in the tree, striation in the rock, a valiant T-cell protecting a human from succumbing to its final hour.