After my seemingly depressing free write, I’ve been getting concerned messages from a few friends who probably now think I am on track to becoming a manic, self-loathing spinster. Sameen*, the boyfriend of one of my top 3 besties read my blog and told my Rx-bestie that my post broke his heart and he didn’t know I had such a lonely soul. His comment, in turn, broke my heart so I just wanted to take this time to address anyone whom I may have concerned.
I have always been in tune with my feelings. I was the Kindergarten crybaby and cried when the teacher criticized the way I painted my cow (not one of my finer moments). When I was four, my mom and brother were singing I Believe I Can Fly and told me to be the back up dancer. I felt left out because nobody wants to be like Michelle Whats-Her-Last-Name from Destiny’s Child, which led to my very first tantrum. And don’t tell anybody, but I can’t watch a father-daughter dance on a wedding show and not have tears rolling down my face.
By now I’ve probably confirmed your belief that I am an emotionally unstable wreck, so let me just start again:
I consider myself to be a happy person, and I am, 93.6% of the time, which if you ask me, is in the 99th percentile of happy people. The thing is, I don’t expect to be happy all the time. I expect moments of insecurity, loneliness, regret, rejection, fear and sorrow. In fact, I welcome it. Yes, welcome is the correct word. There are parents out there who are keeping the gender of their infant a secret and raising him/her in a gender-neutral environment to make sure the child does not feel inferior or pressured into identifying with a particular gender. Schools and sports teams award children for mediocrity to avoid hurt feelings. They are teaching them that it is wrong to feel anything but confident and happy. By assuming people are too fragile to handle any pain, they start to become fragile.
I think humans are resilient. We can be on the brink of a breakdown one moment, but wake up ready to conquer the world the next day. We are seriously a bunch of phoenixes that keeps rising from the ashes. We shouldn’t move through life by dodging every bullet. Sometimes we just need to get hit, cry over it, eat a tub of Haagen Daz and heal.
If some injustice angers you, let it. Contemplate about it, grieve about it and let it bother you so much that you can’t help but speak up about it. Indifference is a miserable way to live. There is no passion or profundity in indifference. There is absolutely no growth. That being said, I’m not suggesting we all just mope over every injury. I’m just saying we shouldn’t be afraid of being vulnerable. Deal with it. Question it. Reflect on it. Write about it. Don’t simply throw on another layer of armor and f*** the world! That’s how serial killers happen.
With regard to my post in question, a friend mentioned that if I took the time to write about it, it must have really affected me. And to some extent, it’s true. I was appalled by how flippant people can be when criticizing someone’s body. I was bothered by the double standards when it comes to judging someone on their body size. However, I don’t think my thoughts were profoundly sad. You should be checking me into a mental hospital if I had responded to the hurtful comments by genuinely thanking and hugging the guy. And for the record, I love my body. Yes, I have my share of insecurities but have you seen the amount of photos I post on Facebook/tumblr/Twitter/my bedroom walls? Clearly, self-esteem is not the issue here!
Sharing my latest happenings and thoughts in my blog is pretty scary. I understand that the written word can appear more dramatic than intended. I’m fully aware that each word can be open to interpretation, speculation and judgement. In fact, I never understand people who post things on the internet and then complain about being judged by people who don’t understand them. And I really do love getting feedback. I love when my roomie reads my writing while I’m in the room because she reacts so enthusiastically. I want my posts to relate to you, make you laugh, and even break your heart (Hi, Sameen*). I just don’t want you to worry about me or feel bad for me or patronize me. I’m far from fragile. I promise I’m not just putting on a smile to hide a breaking heart (Hi, tumblr tweens). I love writing fun, sassy posts with some underlying inspirational message, but at the same time I also want to share my tougher moments with you. I hope ya’ll understand that I only feel comfortable doing this if we all agree that a less-than-happy post is not my cry for help. It’s merely a transient thought that I plucked out from my day. So I just wanted you guys to know that I am fine. More than fine, actually. Happy. Peachy keen. Spectacular, even!
*name has not been changed so ya’ll can go stalk him now.