Home > Uncategorized > In which I’m rambling again…

In which I’m rambling again…

I spend a lot of time being kind. This is not an act, not a trick. I know the world is a harsh place—and this will sound cheesy—but if I can counteract even a little of that, it matters. This is not to say I’m perfect (perish the suggestion). This is not to say I don’t have moments that make me want to drank gin straight out of the cat dish (to paraphrase Anne Lamott). This is not to say I don’t get mad or act badly (I am a person, not a robot).

People have often mistaken this kindness for weakness. Some have even taken advantage of it. Sometimes, I let them—because the heart is a complicated critter. But feeling things deeply is not a detriment. It’s not a bad thing. You aren’t less of anything because you feel deeply and fully and messily.

The simple truth is this: there’s no wrong way to be how you are or who you are. People will often suggest otherwise. You should be quieter or louder. Don’t read so much. Don’t laugh that loudly. And my personal favorite: don’t be so emotional. As if emotions have an off switch, a shut-off valve, a possible way of exorcism. They do not. No matter how you might want them to just disappear, they don’t. All you can do is delay their eruption for a while. But they do always surface or resurface eventually. You can’t outrun yourself, and despite that, we’ve all tried it. (Pro-tip: only someone actively trying to mash down their own feelings will shame you for yours. That’s their baggage, not yours. Put it down. Light it on fire. Move on.)

I read a really bad take the other day about identities and there being a right way to be X or Y. And it was complete, restrictive garbage for so many reasons. You can come and sit next to me and look at the same tree, its pale pink flowers and all the bees buzzing around it—and you may see something completely different. I see something pretty, something hopeful. But maybe that same tree recalls a memory from years ago. Maybe the scent reminds you of a certain person. Maybe a song comes on in the distance, and you think about someone you’d forgotten for a decade.

There’s absolutely no right or wrong way to be who you are, and don’t let anyone ever dare to attempt to define that for you. That’s a world of nope, and it is a means to keep people small and quiet. You don’t owe the world your silence. You don’t anyone your smallness. You owe it to yourself to stay true to you, and that’s the beginning and the end of it.

At the end of the day, I’ve never had time for tepid feelings. It’s either a lightning bolt or it isn’t. And when it is? Christ, it’s unmistakably necessary and important, even when it feels like I might throw up or need to flee. The trick there is, obviously, not to run. Because we’ve all sat in that moment of deer-in-headlights oh no, I can’t. But what if you can? What if you do?

The important things in life fall into two categories: things that feel like home and things that scare you in a certain way. The truth is, not all fear is bad. And yes, we do often mistake butterflies for alarm bells, and that’s troublesome. But the particular fear that means you give a damn and don’t want to screw it up – but oh god, what if you do? That worry is almost certainly a kick in the right direction. It’s almost never a mistake to go after that. And I’m not necessarily talking about relationships—but stars and secrets, yes, pursue the ones that spark and unsettle you in the good-fear way.

The bottom line, I suppose, is that feelings are hard—but they’re important. They’re almost always complicated or messy. I don’t think there’s a neat, tidy feeling. (Maybe contentment?) There’s always a chance something will go wrong. That’s life. But it’s not all of life. And while so much of this world is dark and full of terrors, so much of it is always kindness and starlight and maybes. Don’t be quiet. Don’t be small. Don’t be less.

Be soft. Love madly. Choose with feeling. Pursue with gusto. Throw everything wide open and see what happens next. Because somewhere between this moment and the next, there lies the magick. And that’s all we’re really after in the end.

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