I’m tired. Not the kind of tired that comes from “just one more episode” and not the kind of tired that happens when busy seems to be the only adjective that describes your life. It’s the kind of tired that sits on my chest so I can’t take in a deep enough breath to exhale. It’s a response to drawing from empty buckets, from allowing more withdrawals than deposits, from recklessly giving away my energy. There’s not a nap or an early enough bedtime that will make it go away- some things demand to be felt as a reminder of what needs to change on a molecular level.
Have you ever thought about how much of yourself you give away every day? I think we do it on a subconscious level most times. We give smiles and reassuring looks to friends and strangers. We share our stories to give people a glimpse into our fragile hearts hoping they see the good in us. And I think most of us live under the principle of not purposely hurting people and for me, I try to leave people better than I found them. Freely giving pieces of yourself away isn’t always a calculated move or a great investment in the hands of the ungrateful but living guarded is exhausting.
Sometimes I have pieces of myself stolen. There are people only interested in parts of me- the parts that meet their selfish needs. There are people who aren’t invested in who I am and are disinterested to find out. Even when these types of people are inactive or part time participants in my life, they’re still able to sponge and steal away the tiniest pieces of me through my willingness to accept that not everyone is going to appreciate, respect, or match the greatness of my heart. It takes practice, lots and lots of practice to be ok with the sound of your own footsteps walking away from things that no longer serve you or add value. There’s something rooted in my soul that wants to hold on to everything, even when it’s not a safe or warm place, because goodbyes still feel so permanent.
We live in a world where the time between text message responses and the number of texts sent are judged. People have no issue casually mentioning they’d like to do things to your ass that resemble a raccoon in a trash can but become unnerved when they get back to back texts from one person. News flash…… There will be more people whose minds you don’t cross than those who find you interesting enough to initiate a conversation. If what’s being said is coming from a place of authenticity there shouldn’t be room to worry about the number of messages waiting in inboxes ding..ding..ding.
Too many of us allow social expectations to take the goodness out of our true intentions and make things hazy. We lessen or even deaden our feelings toward situations to avoid rejection. All we do, at the end of the day, is overthink, undervalue our worth, and end up with a false advertising campaign to manage by showing others what we think they want from us. We aren’t here to change who we are for the approval of others- not everyone is supposed to be drawn to you like beetles to a bug zapper. We’re here to find people who give us the connections we need, that we crave- a good laugh, a partner in crime, epic conversations, friendship, honesty, loyalty, and maybe even some great fucking sex.
E.E. Cummings said, “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” I think growing up without social media, or computers for the most part, was a giant gift. Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather of had Google than a set of outdated encyclopedias to do my homework with. But the simplicity of those days far outweighs the paper cuts.
If it was a holiday or you went on vacation, it’s a safe bet that you took enough pictures to fill up a roll or two of film. If you were lucky you’d drop them off at a one-hour place but most of us had a weeks’ worth of waiting to look forward to. When you picked up that resealable envelope, with a wad of neatly stacked pictures in it, it was anyone’s guess how they turned out. Did someone accidentally open up the back of the camera and expose the film so the majority of them had an amber colored blob on them? Did you have your eyes closed or even worse did you have red eyes from the flash? Will you realize just how horrible your freshly cut bangs are and wonder why no one told you? All of those things could have happened and how wonderful they were.
Most of those pictures were put in a photo album that only came out when company came over. There wasn’t an instant comparison to someone else’s experience of the same place in time found through a #hashtag or page. You know who had perfect hair and knew not to wear blue eye shadow as a daily look? Super models. Remember how often we got to see their latest and greatest pictures? Once a month when the magazine showed up in the mailbox. Looking back, I don’t know that any of us were any happier or had more confidence than the present time, but I do know that there was a lot less pressure to make in the moment adjustments to cater to an image you want the world to believe. All that pretending will make a person lifeless and slippery. You don’t need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections, with your utter messiness and chaos.
I love the imperfect, awkward, and the quirky things that make people so touchable, that makes them the “good ones”. They aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and to share the wonderful and horrifying parts of their human experience. They’re the ones that make you love yourself more when you’re around them. They want to have a discussion instead of an argument because a discussion is finding out what is right not who. The good ones are those that may not understand you at all, but they want to. Whether they’re your friend, soul mate, lover, etc., the good ones know that love is about support not sacrifice. Love is about communication not compromise. Love is about trust not tolerance. Love is about energy not ego.
Not one of us has this life thing down and that’s ok. Fuck it up, fix it, turn the page, close the book, start where you left off, start all over, mind your own business, and do what you need to be happy. Be ridiculously human. Fall and don’t be afraid to fall a lot. Those oopsie daisies give us a chance to see who’s there to help us or who leaves us behind. Please, please know that your worth is priceless. You may not have thousands of followers or likes but that’s ok because only those who have a taste for quality and a genuine heart can afford someone like you anyway. You’re one of the good ones…..