I write because it is an outlet. I write because I have seen things in my life that I don’t know how to process other than to put it into words. I write because I have friends that don’t know how to verbalize what they are feeling or what they have been through. I write because people need to know they are not alone. I write to know I am not alone.
I wrote a blog a few years called “I Have Never Been in Love.” In all the wisdom I contained at twenty-three, I thought it was honest and raw and vulnerable. I realize now it was bullshit. More so it was hurtful. There was a girl I was deeply in love with. Hell, I talked about her in the blog. But that was my way of coping when I realized I screwed it up. It was my way of pretending I was justified in breaking up with her and that it made me who I am today. Really it was me hiding from the fact that something happened and I had been affected by it. I have tried to write things that are important and things that are relevant, but when that is my motive it always seems to come up incredibly, monumentally short. It is only when I am authentic and honest that I connect with people. There are enough shows in this world, people don’t need to see another one.
Behind every face is a story; behind every smile are the tales we don’t tell. When things are changing and spinning out of control, we have that thing we look to for comfort. Some call it coping mechanisms or comfort zone, but whatever we label it, they are there; some healthy, some less healthy.
The truth is I am more broken than I could ever adequately explain. I have come a long way, yes, but it only serves to show me how much further I have to go. There is always another demon to face and a flaw to reconcile.
There is a freedom that comes from not hiding in things though. I don’t think it is about getting to a place where I can say I used to struggle or that I have overcome. I think it is more about taking life as it comes: good, bad, and ugly. It is more about understanding that everyone’s story is different and unique, but we all have a story nonetheless. It is about understanding that we are all on a journey. It is less about doing this right and more about doing this together. Most people couldn’t care less if we know what to do, we just want to know we are not doing it alone. That is what it is about. Most people just want someone to say, “I get it. I have been there. You are not the only one.” It is not my strength or my wisdom that people want, it is my honesty.
I remember when I was finally facing the fact that I had loved and lost. A feeling came over me and it made me feel human. I didn’t feel the need to put on the poker face anymore. I didn’t feel the need to pretend I was impervious to things. I never was and I never will be. Sometimes things happen and everything goes to hell, but at the end of the day, that is the human experience. What I do know now is that there is beauty in being affected by life. There is a beauty in knowing that I will never be perfect. I will never “have it all together.” There is beauty in pain and hurt. I can’t understand healing without the pain and I can’t understand joy without the sadness. It’s the great contrast and the great equalizer.
I don’t want to do this alone. I don’t want to waste time trying to be significant or wise. In the words of Jamie Tworkowski, “If influence comes, let it come, but that was never the point of the story.”
I want to spend my life doing something fulfilling. I want to live this life experiencing it next to the people I love. I want to wear my heart on my sleeve. I want to watch it get broken and watch it heal again. I want to experience different cultures and I want to travel.
More than anything I want to live an authentic life and if that means it looks like it is falling apart most of the time, so be it. There is a wild world waiting to be experienced if we are willing to take the risks and let the walls down. I think that is what is most important.