So I’ve noticed I’m getting a few people following this blog, to which I say, “Hello fellow lurkers! Welcome!” I will take a brief aside and post a quick disclaimer. Let’s just say that my computer has issues with capitalizing words. If you ever see a lowercase i masquerading as proper grammar, blame my keyboard… and my lack of proofreading. Also, my mind tends to race ahead of my fingers, so I have a really bad habit to dropping words – important words – so if something seems amiss just know that my brain is automatically filling in the proper word even if my fingers aren’t typing it out. Interestingly, while I’m crap at proofreading my own work, I’m killer when proofreading other people’s work. Give me a red pen and I’m in grammatical heaven. Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled blogging… I’m that weird person who can be nearly 100% honest online, to complete and total strangers, but I often can’t state my feelings out loud to people I care about. I use journaling online as a means of “downloading my brain,” to steal a turn of phrase however I’m not nearly as dour and miserable in real life as my online posting would have you believe. Just ask my friend at beautiful-scars, she’ll tell you.
Occasionally though, I’ll get trapped in a mindset that I’m just a raging ball of negativity and apathy. I know why I surround myself with the people I do: the positive, the upbeat, the dreamers, the spiritual (though not necessarily religious), as they help to balance me and keep me from sinking into my mental funk. But I’m left to wonder what I offer to them. Why would anyone seek out the company of someone who is miserable? Why would these happy people want to be my friend? Misery loves company, so the saying goes, but my friends are not people who are seeking a companion in misery. If anything, these are people who actively seek out positive outcomes to negative experiences – the don’t just look for the silver lining, they concentrate on it so hard that it becomes a blinding, shining beacon of light guiding them forward.
A friend texted me the other day, she was feeling particularly insecure and down and asked me to list five positive things about her. Believe me when I say it was one of the easiest things in the world. I got the text at 5:41 and at 5:52 I sent her my first response and by 6:00 all my texts were sent:
First, you are one of the kindest, most caring people I have the very great privilege to know.
Second, you fight against negativity and actively work toward a positive outlook. Even right now, when confronted with a negative mind space you are seeking positive reinforcement so that you don’t lose yourself in self pity.
Third, a little more superficially, you have the best hair and an awesome figure!
Fourth, you are intelligent and passionate. You have done more with your life in a short span than most people I have met. You keep seeking knowledge and continually work to be a better person and leave the world around you a better place.
And finally, fifth, besides being gorgeous, personable, intelligent and caring, you’re not afraid to love the things you love and thoroughly embrace your nerdy, geeky, awesome side.
Done. All texted out and sent in under ten minutes. That’s the sort of person I call my friend. Someone who has qualities so readily accessible that I almost don’t even have to think to come up with five things I find admirable. But again, it begs to ask, what does such a person get out of being friends with me? I seem to be getting the most of the relationship. Then she texted me back:
And now for you whenever you may need it in the future:
1) You have the strength, beauty and wisdom to inspire the children you teach year after year.
2) You understand, cherish and nurture the creativity within you in all aspects of your life. this makes you shine above and beyond many of those around you.
3) The people who have the honor to be welcomed into your home and heart are given the most loyal, kind and enriching friend anyone could ask for.
4) Your artistic and creative soul reveal such beauty, joy and pure radiance that is so contagious and inspiring.
5) You have an intense strength and understanding of who you are that seems so assured and powerful. It inspires me more than I can say.
I must say, hearing the opinion of someone outside looking in, I’m glad. I’m glad that all the darkness in my head that tumbles out across the page lives here on the internet, and not in my actual day to day interpersonal relationships. It may be in my head and it may mute the colors in my world and amplify my undesirable thoughts, but I don’t present that to the world as my defining characteristic. Who knows, I may be the very definition of the tortured artist: the person who exudes creative energy and influence at the expense of some very real personal (mental) demons. There’s always a price to pay, a trade off. We do not exist on the planet without consequences. There is a scale, and the more we’re weighted to one advantage, to a gift, to a place of being there is a balance that has to met in the form of equal disadvantages, fine print, and clauses. However this weighting and measuring doesn’t happen all at once, sometimes the blocks stack higher on one side and the scale dips down low, lower, lowest still till you think the plate will positively break off and fall to the floor. But then something will happen, something contrasting, and blocks fall off and it tips precariously in the opposite direction. Very rarely in life does the scale sit level, perfectly weighted with the good and bad.
This is something that presses on my thoughts, that little bit of fear that I’m a fraud, that I’m not a good person, a nice person, that it’s all for show and really my heart is black and weighted to the negative. I asked another friend a while back if she thought I was a sympathetic person. Her answer was essentially that I don’t suffer fools, but that I am always sympathetic to the problems and needs of the people I care about. I always seem to genuinely care about her and her health issues. I mean, do most people sit and wonder if they’re adequately empathetic to the lives of those who they come in contact?
I worry about that. It is part of the reason why B and I have opted to remain childfree. I work with children, so I’m not of the type of childfree person who hates all small humans and wishes to never be bothered by the needs of a tiny person. Generally speaking, I like children. I just know that given my temperament (and B’s), that being responsible for raising a child would not be healthy for either party involved. I feel like I lack that gene that says here, be maternal! I never wanted a baby when I was little, I didn’t pretend to be pregnant with a pillow stuffed under my shirt, I had no ideas of growing up and getting married and having kids. I was the kid who passionately proclaimed that I would never get married. I had plans. And those plans did not include being responsible for anyone but myself and my needs. Then I got married. I married the masculine version of myself – or a masculine version of myself, my bestie, and my mom and dad rolled into one. So that was as good as staying single, just with more companionship. But marrying someone with a personality very much like my own doesn’t go a long way towards developing my missing qualities and challenging myself as a person.
I’m not entirely sure where this rambling train wreck is going. And I’m not really sure how to reign this in to a cohesive thought. So I’m just going to stop for the day. Til Thursday.