Last week, I got a plain white envelope in my PO Box. There was no return address and my address was typed, and while this may sound uninteresting, it stood out the most in my bundle of colorful postcards and envelopes. I opened it before I got home, and was extremely overwhelmed with what was inside.

As a teenager, I always fantasized about having a secret admirer. Ten years later, I can tell you that a non-romantic secret admirer is so much more satisfying and meaningful. This letter found its way to me from somewhere in New Jersey, and reading it made me feel like pop rocks were exploding in my heart. I’m very grateful that someone took the time to do this, and I want to let you know, whoever you are, that you rock too.

Receiving this letter made me think about my purpose in life, and what I need to do for other people. On my drive into the city, I pass multiple overpasses with graffiti tags on them. There is one tag that has always stood out to me, though. It just says “AGONY”. I’ve also seen many stickers around Baltimore, with the same word on them. I’ve done a little research, but haven’t been able to find anything concrete about the meaning of these stickers. It’s possible that this is what the artist goes by, but it’s also possible that this is a word that the artist wants to spread around.

Either way, when I see it, I think about how many people in the world, and my city alone, are unhappy. The underlying reasons may be entirely different, including poverty, unrequited love, or mental illness, but it hurts me to think that so many people are unhappy. I’ve mentioned my experience with mental health and my path to happiness before, and I realize that everyone is on a different journey, but my belief is that no one is doomed to an unhappy fate. As much as I believe that finding joy in life is a conscious decision, lots of times we need (a lot of) assistance. If I can be a part of that assistance, then that is my purpose.

Doing things for the public will give me the opportunity to reach more people, and hopefully this blog will as well. It seems selfish to not spread the happiness I’ve found, so that’s why I’m never going to stop passing out balloons or adding color to public spaces. Thank you again, secret admirer. You’ve reaffirmed my faith.

Have you ever had a secret admirer?