A friend of mine, a sage and prolific man, told me recently that the best parts of my blog are those in which I’ve told the truth about my experiences. These are the posts in which I have not hid behind abstract ideals and mores; they are the entries that have been spawned directly from my bleeding heart and messy guts. They’re not pretty, but life is gloriously sloppy…and mine is certainly no exception.
In the spirit of truthfulness, and having been so inspired by my friend, I am challenging myself to be, simply put, honest—to not hide behind labels, abstracts or carefully a constructed persona, which I would calculate to be socially acceptable. In short, I shall try not to hide behind a character that I believe that other people would like, but to be the person that I am, whether others like it or not.
And the whole truth is, I am a coward. I’m afraid of love, or more succinctly, of intimacy. I am terrified of being hurt, and because of my fear, I’ve constructed carefully laid defenses to keep others from becoming too close. I’m sure, if you’ve read my blogs or my Twitter and Facebook pages, you’ve seen my abrasive snark. It’s my biggest defense. I love that part of myself—it’s entertaining and witty (at least, I think so), but it’s also a lot bravado. The real “me” is found in my quieter moments and softer writing. My most thoughtful observations are those in which I communicate in a whisper. As I was preparing to post this entry to my blog, I found myself worrying about what others would think. I'm always worried about that. Screw it.
For this reason, I feel as though many of my friends have never seen me, the real me. And I’m afraid of their reactions if they did. I am messy. Two of my best friends in the world are cats (indeed, I like my cats a great deal more than many people that I know). I take 40 minute showers and clog the drain with my hair. I love to eat peanut butter right out of the jar. I have a temper that would have frightened Hitler. I am living with my parents again after being on my own for seven years, failing at almost every endeavor that I had undertaken in my twenties, including marriage. I’m sadly disorganized. I’m too indulgent in regard to my bad habits: caffeine, sweets, alcohol, politics and things that are cute. And I still dream, perhaps naively, that the “love of my life” (whose identity has yet to be determined) will whisk me away to Paris.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s me. Just as I’ve embraced the c-word, I am now embracing my flaws, and I wholeheartedly encourage any reader of my blog, who isn’t yawning with boredom, to do the same. Work out your flaws, but love yourself. I’m tired of being a coward. This is me—like it or not.
Thank you, Andy Parker, for your wise guidance and inspiration.