Children are amazing like that, you see.
Fantastic how raw their feelings are. How they’re not afraid to look someone in the eye and say, “you’re mean.” How quickly they forgive.
Adults? No, baby, we are not that free.
Adults need to be in nondescript cubicles, and they must buy pretty containers for their feelings.
The carefully curated feed can’t show pain, heartbreak, loss, or failure.
(Except when it can be used to catch your email address, promising to deliver the mini-course on winning the game of life.
Trial version, free of charge.)
Don’t give them satisfaction. Don’t let them know how much they hurt you. The best revenge is silence. Be strong. Fierce. Don’t get to their level.
On and on it goes.
Since we woke up in this reality, stumbling to find a sense in all the chaos and randomness of our existence, ever since the beginning, people, our people, shaped us into who we are today.
Caregivers with loving hearts and nuggets of wisdom. Teachers obsessed with molding us into the agreed-upon patterns. Friends and lovers even more confused than us. Self-help authors trying to make another quick buck.
They all had something to say.
All of them spilled their rules, milestones, and teachings and, on top of it all, even more lessons.
Vessels, we let ourselves be filled, drop by drop, with all their weapons, defenses, and coping mechanisms.
Wide-eyed, we listened, and we paid attention, and we learned and learned some more about how to breathe, how to eat, how to love, and how to be.
As the sun settled again and the Earth rotated again, we carefully took the chalk. We scribbled their many commandments somewhere deep inside.
We inherited their teachings and forgot who we were in the beginning — honest children, who cry when they fall down their bikes, laugh when they hear a good joke, beg for that doll promising the world in return.
All honesty is lost when you’re taught to hide a part of yourself and pose as the ice giants when you’re really the storm instead.
Hide and be surprised when no one seeks. Say no when you mean yes. Big girls don’t cry.
Vulnerability is neediness, honesty is weakness; there’s a natural order to these things.
It has to be like this — keep it quiet, and protect the ego; the air inside your lungs will catch on fire, and your gut will dissolve in itself unless you hide away, don’t give them the satisfaction.
That pain, those struggles, that low self-esteem, those failures, that regret, those mistakes, those tears, those white nights, those spirals, that sadness?
Not that sexy unless neatly wrapped up in a hero’s journey, where’s the community for humans that feel until the souls scream bloody murder, and how can we monetize it asap?
Nothing is ours except time, so make sure you spend your time carefully wrapping your heart, soul, eyes, and guts in plastic wrappers, untainted and tight, so it doesn’t leak.
Haters are watching you, so put on a show, perform for the eyes that don’t even look, feed your ego and your anger, but don’t give them the satisfaction, don’t let them in, keep them at bay; they’re just jealous, baby, don’t you think, and damn it if you don’t believe it.
Don’t think of those you love; no, show them a fake porcelain doll, the wax figure of who you really are; smile and suck it up, honesty is uncomfortable, it doesn’t get likes and retweets, angels lie to keep control, authenticity is trendy but not too much.
Or you could, you know, fuck it all and burn your social points, they don’t keep your peace and night, yes, go ahead, give them the satisfaction.
Take the key, and unlock the cupboard.
Better yet, steal a sledgehammer and smash the padlock; look at those containers, the ones packing all your fear and love, and cravings and desires.
Ask yourself why and for whom are you hiding yourself, baby girl?
Lost hope belongs to a love song so sing that song until you lose your voice if you have to; open up, your heart is not too dark to care, unwrap the pieces of yourself and let it all out, sit there and cry about it if it helps, listen to the laughter of the child and bring that child back in its beautiful honesty and rawness and you hear him, right?
“You’re still alive,” you say, and do I deserve to be?