How Are You?

Being that I (still) don’t know many people here in college, it always catches me off guard when someone stops to ask “how are you?”

“Good,” I reply quickly, a conditioned response. “How are you?” I never quite listen all the way through to their answer, partly because it’s the same as mine and partly because I just lied. Again.

Because believe it or not, I’m not “good”. I’m anxious a lot of the time, about scenarios that never happen. That doesn’t deter my anxiety though.

I’m not “okay”. I miss my family and my dogs and my boyfriend and my shower and my old friends.

I’m not “just fine”. There are days when I get so discouraged, I actually convince myself that having a career as a writer is a myth- just a hobby, not a job.

I’m not “alright”. The government is corrupt, the media is a scam, and the news makes me feel sick to my stomach and light in the head.

I’m not “dandy”. I’m stressed about school and grades and credits and finals and exams and quizzes and homework.

I’m not “doing well”.  I am living life with a satisfied attitude, and damn it, that’s not good enough for me. I deserve more than satisfaction. I deserve euphoria, bliss, and consistent love.

How am I? Not “good”, that’s for sure.

But I will continue to lie to anyone who asks, partly because it’s what’s expected of us, and partly because I’ve never admitted any other answer. Maybe someday I’ll be able to give a response that I mean, a deliberate reaction, even if that isn’t what the world wants to hear.

That’s the honest reality, and until then, I’m doing just fine.


Truthfully yours,

Madeleine Rheinheimer


One thought on “How Are You?

  1. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Those are pretty common feelings for people of your age. Actually some of them are common for people of my age. Also try answering “peachy” or “swell”. People can’t quite figure out exactly what they mean.


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