I do not understand how people have thoughts and questions and feelings and keep those things inside of themselves. I find those people sometimes fascinating and sometimes completely unrelatable. How do you not complain when you’re frustrated? How are you having all these big feelings and not expressing them? Don’t you feel like at any moment you might explode? How is your mouth shut right now? Don’t you need to speak out loud to understand what you’re thinking? How are you doing this? How? Explain it to me– in detail.
I am not one of those people, as you have probably figured out one way or another. I vomit everything I think and feel. I spew it loudly and quickly and I do not stop to consider whether what I’m saying is one of the things people should say. Usually, I say things people do not say. I just say the thing I’m thinking or feeling. I say it because I do not know how to keep it in. I missed that class. I am, for better or worse, myself.
I have this friend (who we’ll call Dasha). Dasha and I are complete opposites in this way. Dasha does not say whatever comes to her mind. Dasha speaks slowly and quietly. Her words are always carefully thought out and her natural speaking voice is a whisper. When she speaks, people listen, they lean in, they must lean in and give her their attention or they just might miss it. And, trust me, you don’t want to miss it because Dasha always has something important to say. She considers what she might say before she says it. Dasha doesn’t guard her words or carefully pick them because she is unsure of herself–not even close. Dasha knows who she is and what she is and what she thinks. She is exactly who she is and for that reason, despite our differences, I love her. I love her because she is genuine and I can see her–truly see her, even as she sits quietly in the corner (as I scream from the center).
Have you ever noticed that the people you really, really like are get-able? I mean, you can understand them. They show you, on the outside, who they really are on the inside. Those people are magnets. We are drawn to them because they give us hope that one day we might be able to be who we really are outloud. Those people may have habits that are annoying, you may disagree with their opinions (or with the way they state their opinions), but they are who they are and there’s something incredibly comforting about that, right?
I have this other friend who is crass. She curses too much. She smokes too much. She yells too much. She laughs loudly. And, I love her. I love her because I can see her. I can really see her. She is exactly who she is. She allows the world to know her.
You know that saying “better to be hated for who you are than to be liked for who you’re not”– it’s true, you guys. It’s so true. Do you know why? Because you cannot be liked for who you are not. That’s not real like. That like feels the same as hate, trust me. You shouldn’t be who you are (or who you’re not for that matter) for other people. You should be who you are because it’s a gift to God. He made you exactly as you are, and it might hurt His feelings to see you parading around in some imposter’s clothing. (Probably not, God does not get His feelings hurt that easily, I don’t think?) My point is, He knows more than we do, we can both agree on that, right? His ways are higher than our low little ways. And so, He probably knew what He was doing when He made you how He made you. He put thought into it. He has a plan. We probably shouldn’t throw His plan in His face.
It’s exhausting to be someone else. I wish I had figured that out years ago, I would’ve cut to the chase much sooner. We are who we are. I am who I am. And I’m grateful I figured that out, and I’m grateful for the people in my life who allow the world (myself included) to really see them.
These are pictures of me being the real me–not the cute, edited version of myself. Pizza, a make up free smile and a nap. The end.