This week I have been tearing myself apart. I’ve been whittling myself down and picking at the soft parts until they bleed. I’ve been beating myself up for the parts of me I feel are weaknesses. The parts of me I feel I can’t totally control. I’ve been telling myself that my feelings are wrong and bad and annoying and that no one wants to hear them or see them and they should be locked away forever and ever. I have been scolding myself, and telling myself to go away.
I have not been able to do thoughtful things because of this. I cannot read on the train. I have bad dreams. It’s been hard for me to sit still without my brain wandering off without me, going down roads and paths I don’t want to visit. I have been a little tormented.
And then on Thursday the universe had had enough of my internal writhing (apparently… I mean, we didn’t actually talk, but I inferred.) and sent me some comfort. At work of all places. Someone recognized my ram tattoo. And not in the, “hey, what’s that?” but he suddenly says, “You have a birthday coming up!” And I said, “Yes…” And then he started talking to me about astrology.
In a very enthusiastic way, and without any prompting at all, he validated who I am. All the things I had been beating myself up over, all of the things that I had been trying to bend and squish into some other kind of mold, a more convenient mold, are just who I am. I am really big into self-improvement. I want to be a kind person, I want to be understanding and a good listener, I want to have an open mind and to find the joy in life, even the tiny things, even the hard parts.
But he reminded me that there are deep down parts of me that just… are. I’m very protective, I’m fierce in my desire to help those in need, I will always put myself between the threat and the threatened. It just happens. I am also very self aware, painfully self aware at times. And because of that I sometimes need validation and to be affirmed by others. To be told I’m ok, that I’m appreciated, that I am wanted. I’m not always lovable, sometimes I’m annoying. I’m terrified of being seen as needy. I’m naturally competitive and reactionary. Sometimes in an awesome way, sometimes in an aggressive and out-of-line way. I make mistakes and then I feel really bad and worry I’ve pushed people too far and they won’t want to be around me anymore. I’m capable of completely cutting people off. I am incapable of keeping my own secrets. Totally incapable. I have no secrets. I tell the world everything. I am an over-sharer, but I never think it’s TMI, I’m just being honest (and most of the time very excitedly so). I very very often love people more than they love me.
I am overwhelmed with emotion (from others, from myself, from large groups of people) a lot of the time. Sometimes it’s beautiful and sometimes it’s really difficult.
But Thursday I was reminded that these are parts of me. Of the deep down me. Not the me who likes yellow (god knows that could change), not the me who hates the way Kamel chews (because in 20 years will I notice? … maybe.), not the me who is obsessed with short coats. I’m talking about the me who cries at google commercials, and tells scary men that, “It’s time for you to go now. Right now,” when they are bothering a mom and daughter who can’t stand up for themselves outside of safeway, the me who is loud and cries on the phone to her best friend when she feels wronged and hurt, because I’m the one who has a hard time shrugging things off. And I find that incredibly inconvenient. And I sometimes wish I was capable of more indifference, but Thursday I was reminded that I will never be that guy. I will always love and care and feel too much. And it will always be both awesome and annoying, but it’s ok.