It’s May 2014; my graduation month. Even a year ago I wasn’t sure how I would pull forward in this time and leave the familiar behind, but over the past 6 months my ties with my former self have both quietly and violently been severed, and I am not at all shaken by confrontation of the present and the future because who I was no longer exists. Though the world she left yearns for her return. I try to remember who I was that I fit into this small space, but all I can hear is the unknown calling for me; to taste and understand. I have become too big to be contained. If I stay, one of us will break.
When I was a kid I wanted to be an adventurer. No, not a princess. What is that? I wanted to see and experience EVERYTHING and document my discoveries in pictures and writing to expose the the truth, and unveil the intimate and far reached mysteries of existence. I knew who I was.
Everything that twisted my sense of identity and led me to reach for something that was never mine, and every disappointment that followed, screaming accusations of failure and undermining my value because I did not fit, it all begins and ends with that one explanation; I do not fit.
I’m so glad I don’t fit.
I’ve always felt restless. I need to move, need to know, need to touch, need to feel, need to move, move, move. How can I remain when there is so much more to know? The everlasting problem; if I stay here, I’ll never know what was over there. If I order the Chicken Caesar salad, I won’t know what their Taco salad is like. I could wear the green shirt, but for all I know my day could be completely different if I chose the black one, but then what if the green one catches the eye of some passing stranger and they strike a conversation which blossoms into friendship in which they inevitably save my life? What if there are countless scenarios like this every day that I pass by, unaware? What if I stop reaching for the unknown and become… dry and boring.
What if I become a woman who regularly converses about the laundry and complains of what her husband isn’t doing?
What if I lose my identity?
Then I know that I can’t. I can’t put myself to sleep in order to become a housewife, a mother, that old lady that sits on her porch after her children are gone, and the only thing she made herself out to be went with them – these people that live their lives only to be put into a home where they stare into space and remember. They remember what was and what could have been. They remember what they gave up.
Some may be satisfied in knowing they did what they were supposed to do in fulfilling their duty. They have peace knowing they fit into a bigger structure, and as long as they continue to do their part, they will be given love and acceptance.
What if what you do matters little, and it’s more about who you are?
I’ve known plenty who fill their part seamlessly and devote themselves entirely to proper conduct, but tension exposes their true nature, and their identity (or lack of one) is exposed to the vast unpredictable reality. They have their script memorized, but their hearts are closed and guarded violently. They have no love, except to bask in the reflection of their self righteousness.
All the pretty clothes and proper flicks of the hair, and all the opening of doors and tips of the hat won’t cover the ugliness of haughty narcissism. It cannot replace empathy. You are not lovely.
The world doesn’t need you to be right. No one needs you to be good. They need to be heard and accepted for who they are before they can ever be healed! They are SCREAMING! Can’t you hear them screaming for someone to see them and simply touch them where they stand? To relieve the aching loneliness that burns them into desolation! How dare you tell them what they must do before they can receive love?! Silence.
As I move forward in my life and choose who I become, I hope to be one who listens.
Here is a tacky copy and paste quote backed with simple truth.
|THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE
HABIT 5: SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD
Communication is the most important skill in life. You spend years learning how to read and write, and years learning how to speak. But what about listening? What training have you had that enables you to listen so you really, deeply understand another human being? Probably none, right?If you’re like most people, you probably seek first to be understood; you want to get your point across. And in doing so, you may ignore the other person completely, pretend that you’re listening, selectively hear only certain parts of the conversation or attentively focus on only the words being said, but miss the meaning entirely. So why does this happen? Because most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. You listen to yourself as you prepare in your mind what you are going to say, the questions you are going to ask, etc. You filter everything you hear through your life experiences, your frame of reference. You check what you hear against your autobiography and see how it measures up. And consequently, you decide prematurely what the other person means before he/she finishes communicating. Do any of the following sound familiar?”Oh, I know just how you feel. I felt the same way.” “I had that same thing happen to me.” “Let me tell you what I did in a similar situation.”Because you so often listen autobiographically, you tend to respond in one of four ways: