Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to drop some hard learned knowledge on you that may feel just a little bit cold hearted.
YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL.
Wait. Hold on, calm down. I’m not being mean.
Since we were little kids we have all been lead to believe that each and every last one of us are as special and unique as fingerprints, snowflakes and a pair of well-fitting jeans. And while I can agree that there is something worthwhile about everyone. That we all have incomparable abilities and hobbies and interests that make us different. We’ve all lead different lives, had different families, like different foods and shows. These are all true facts, but lately I’ve been noticing something I find disconcerting.
It’s the notion that our pain, our specific trauma or drama or reasons to do or not do something is so deeply personal, so entrenched in our souls that NO ONE could possibly feel the same way. No one could understand or even pretend to understand. Because we are the very first people to feel this way and that makes it valid, real and special.
But, as I’ve stated earlier. It’s not.
Take for example, one’s reasoning to get a haircut or not get a haircut. If you are scared about getting the haircut and agonizing over it with your friends, checking 1000 Pinterest posts, lying awake at night imagining the implications of a follicular change – it could feel very daunting. But, of course, you are not the first person to stress about a haircut. You aren’t the first person to feel worried that it might not look good or bring out your eyes the right way or it might make your face look chubby. In fact, there are probably thousands of people worrying about the same thing at the exact same time. And isn’t that a bit bolstering?
Or, in another more personal case, a situation I have been going through of late with a gentleman. A gentleman who is extraordinarily sexy, funny, talented and caring. A gentleman who apprehended my heart the very second I met him over one year (and one relationship each) ago. This is also a gentleman who has had THE WORST relationships I have ever heard in my entire life, therefore he comes with an entire department store luggage section worth of baggage.
He’s an artist, he’s middle aged and he’s pursuing a career that takes up a lot of his time/mental energy.
These reasons are what make him feel like he’s not suited for a “relationship”. We spend countless hours together, we’re intimate, we make each other laugh and can trust each other with the very depths of our souls. But, his pain and his devotion to/fear of his career are keeping him away from giving himself over to a relationship (even though that’s what we have going on – but that’s an entire other essay in and of itself.)
Anyway, his are not singular circumstances. Everyone in our line of work feels the exact same way. Old, young, married, single, working, starving – we all feel the fear. We all feel the drive and the psychopathic commitment we’ve made to this line of work. And I know that if he just grasped that he “isn’t special”, that he feels exactly how he should feel (as aggravating as it is) and he just leaned into it and took it as it came, he’d feel a hell of a lot more together – and perhaps willing to call of the guards and let someone in.
You aren’t special.
Your problems aren’t so dark and shadowy that you should hide yourself – Quasimodolike from the rest of the world. You should open up, own your issues and throw them into the wind. Or at least acknowledge that they are there and move on, because really, if we spend our entire lives coddling our issues, we’re giving them power. That Ex who emotionally manipulated you for years lives on as an “issue” as long as you let him. Your mother telling you that you can’t sing will only be true if you let it. You will only be unworthy of being loved as long as you keep telling yourself that’s so (and for what it’s worth, in the case of the gentleman – he is so worth being loved.)
So next time you have a deep dark capital P problem that you think no one could possible fathom, perhaps consider the simple notion that you are NOT special. Your problems are not unique. You are a just another citizen of the world and we all have gone through some serious shit. So pack it on up, open up your heart and take the baggage in stride. Because when you start to see your most dismal issues as something other people deal with on a daily basis too, they slowly start to dissipate, carry less weight and let you be free, let you be open and let you be loved.