‘the duck syndrome’

“Have you heard of the duck syndrome?” 

I shook my head; no.

“You know how a duck looks calm and collected as it moves languidly on the surface of the water? To the observer the duck looks serene, but in truth, the duck is furiously paddling with all its might underwater. That’s the duck syndrome and honestly, maybe that’s really what’s going on [here].” 

She paused for a second then gently said, “So maybe you should stop looking at other people.”

— from a conversation in 2014 with a dear friend I’d befriended during my first year at Stanford

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