Ughhh. This whole being-part-of-the-better stuff I set out to do isn’t as easy or clear-cut as I thought it was going to be. This is the time of year when holiday cheer is supposed to take over. Right now it’s in constant conflict with the dark and the cold that we all want so badly to not exist. Sometimes I love this time of year. Other times I want nothing to do with it. This year is one of the other times.
Maybe I’m overreacting. Did you know I once decided to move across the country because the local grocery store was sold out of organic baby spinach? I can be that way sometimes.
I’ll also block people on Facebook at the drop of a hat. I’ll delete your number from my phone if I haven’t heard from you in six weeks. I will wallow and torture myself for hours over things that do not matter like the chocolate chip cookies I ate two weeks ago, or the text I sent in the wee hours of the morning but really shouldn’t have sent at any hour of any day under any circumstances, or that guy who won’t ever love me because he won’t even give me a chance, or that other guy who bought me flowers—the first time anyone has ever bought me flowers—and how disappointed and subhuman I felt when he gave them to me because I did not want the first time a boy gave me flowers to be from a boy I didn’t even want flowers from.
Yes, I can be that way sometimes, and I sure don’t want you to know some of that. But you know what they say.
What you can’t say owns you. What you hide controls you.
The parts that you want to hide are the parts that you need to figure out. It’s so true it’s almost annoying. I regularly spill my guts on the internet, but there are still things I don’t want you to know about me. I want you to see me in a certain way, just like everybody wants to be seen in a certain way. I want to hide things and pretend they aren’t there and talk about them to nobody.
But that isn’t how this works. Telling you about those chocolate chip cookies I ate? I could die over that. My shame about my body and every single bite that has ever passed my lips is something I kept hidden for far too long. That means I have to publish it. I don’t want to be controlled by a fucking cookie.
So I just say it, and then I can let it go.
Plus, I’m not here for small talk. I want to medium talk. Big talk. The biggest.
Not everyone is into talking this way. Earlier this year I actually got my first hate mail from a reader who thought I was going to far. Telling me I shouldn’t write these things. That it wasn’t OK. That I needed help. We all need help, my love.
Part of me feels silly for obsessing over silly things that don’t matter, but another part of me knows that if they actually didn’t matter I wouldn’t be telling you about them.
By the way, is it gossiping if you’re talking about your own life?
And then there’s the terrible person inside of me who gets sick of always doing the right thing. The one who has nothing left to give sometimes, who can’t read one more goddamn self-help book, who wants nothing to do with discipline or routine, who doesn’t give a shit about other people, who has wine in her coffee cup on a Sunday afternoon, who can’t take care of your feelings right now because she doesn’t know how to take care of herself, who cannot hold back, who simply has to get it out or she’ll just die, who–even if just for a moment—-does not give a damn about the consequences of her actions.
We all have that terrible person inside. Lots of people pretend they don’t have it. I’m not one of those people.
So I push the limits to see what I can get away with. I cross all the lines, and tell too much truth, and write things about myself that make people uncomfortable. Maybe it’s all in vain in some sort of selfish, self-indulgent effort to let all the bullshit go.
But I don’t see it this way. I wish more people would do this. And I wish more people could do this. I think the world would be a better place. The consequences that terrible person inside of us doesn’t care about are rarely as bad as they seem, and the biggest problems only come up when we don’t tell each other the truth, and hold on to things that weigh us down. Once in a while we have to push, and cross the line, and be too honest, and get hurt, and obsess about things that don’t matter, because we wouldn’t be stuck on them if they didn’t, and we can’t let them go until they become so heavy that we decide we just don’t want to carry them anymore.
So the only way to stop torturing yourself over things that don’t matter is to figure out why you thought you deserved to be tortured in the first place. And the reality is you only know when you’re being too honest after it’s too late. And you can’t ever actually see the line because the line is fucking invisible, and everyone else’s line is different than yours, and the only way you’ll know you crossed it is because you hurt someone else or you hurt yourself or you can’t fall asleep at night, and when you do finally fall asleep you wake up feeling like a sack of human garbage.
You never could have known what too far was without going there, and anything less than too far just wasn’t far enough. And it’s always worth the risk, because sometimes going too far?
Is the only way to figure out who you really want to be.