I’ve been talking to myself constantly, which means I need to do some writing. There’s that weight in my throat, the pressure of a storm building. But I’m afraid to sit down and let it come. I think I’m mostly afraid that it won’t. That I’m not what I imagine myself to be.
I think about myself too much. I know that. I’m much too concerned with making sense of existence. I forget to exist. I should be less selfish, more concerned with others. I should have three kids by now. I should be happy to answer the door when they knock, instead of wanting to hide, turn down the TV until they go away.
You begin to wonder if anyone ever sees you. Or if they’re just looking for what they expect a person to be. After all, why wouldn’t someone rather smile than not smile? Come out rather than stay in, stay hidden?
“Should” is the shame we carry for failing to be other people’s versions of ourselves. I’m not really interested in that. You don’t choose a school, a major, a spouse, a political candidate, a belief, a family, an entire life just because that’s what those in proximity expect.
Except, don’t you? Isn’t that all we ever do?
Meet expectations, meet expectations. Ignore that muffled source inside that begs, “But why?” Hold its head under water until it never speaks again, silence any whisper that threatens to betray the careful illusion, the delicate house of cards you work tirelessly to keep from blowing over. Listen to only upbeat songs. Pin that quote about dancing in rain. Complain about rainy days on social media. Smile. Stay peppy. Stay happy.
I know what you think of the way I move through life; I can see the laughter in your eyes, looking down your nose and making light. I know you think it’s juvenile, my love of the way words can blend together like light on water – a variation on a theme of beauty my thirst for is never quenched. I know you see it as something people should grow out of. But the truth is, the older I grow, the more I’m convinced that life is poetry. And the way I see it, you’re missing it all. And you’re blind to everything I hold sacred.
I guess if we’re being honest, I probably won’t call. I guess I don’t see the point of it, of all your spinning plates.