Naomi Osaka is on the Cover of TIME Magazine and Says, ‘It’s O.K. Not to Be O.K., and It’s O.K. to Talk About It’

Photograph by Williams & Hirakawa—AUGUST

Life is a journey.

In the past few weeks, my journey took an unexpected path but one that has taught me so much and helped me grow. I learned a couple of key lessons.

Lesson one: you can never please everyone. The world is as divided now as I can remember in my short 23 years. Issues that are so obvious to me at face value, like wearing a mask in a pandemic or kneeling to show support for anti-racism, are ferociously contested. I mean, wow. So, when I said I needed to miss French Open press conferences to take care of myself mentally, I should have been prepared for what unfolded.

Lesson two was perhaps more enriching. It has become apparent to me that literally everyone either suffers from issues related to their mental health or knows someone who does. The number of messages I received from such a vast cross section of people confirms that. I think we can almost universally agree that each of us is a human being and subject to feelings and emotions.

Perhaps my actions were confusing to some because there are two slightly different issues at play. In my mind they overlap, and that’s why I spoke about them together, but let’s separate them for the sake of discussion.

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SOURCE: TIME Magazine