Once I dated someone because everyone else would be fulfilled by my relationship. Because he would be happy, my family would be happy, his mama would be happy, & everyone would say I told you so, jumping in circles together, because they always saw some magic between the two of us.
I thought there was no way that everyone else in the world was wrong & I was right. So when that turning page came, that moment when you both stand eye to eye & say is it this or is it that, I chose him off a fondness my heart felt creeping in, hoping that love would grow on me the way arranged marriages work in places foreign to my eyes. Because he was my best friend, & how could dating your best friend not work.
& you know what?
Everything went exactly how I had expected.
Everyone was aglow, making sure I knew how excited they were that we finally did it, that we were finally Facebook Official. They were all so happy. & being the people pleaser I am, I was relieved to make so many people happy at once. I thought it made everyone love me a little more.
Then came the rest. Because I wasn’t quite as filled as everyone else, & as they were jumping in circles & I was, too, there was a spot that went untouched, & a guiltiness in my heart. Because this wasn’t true, & I knew it. & when the ending eventually came & I broke my best friend’s heart, I learned that people didn’t love me more. They loved him, & they loved us, because he was in it. But they didn’t really love me more.
& this is really all just to tell you a secret. Because you can’t make people love you. & the sick part is we try. & we’re willing to wear more make up & dye our hair & gain healthy habits & wear pretty clothes & become artists & cooks & models & drunks & we’re no where in there, but they love us more, so we disappear.
We disappear, love.
& it’s true. That’s the brutal, heart of it all. That we’ll sacrifice ourselves to be someone that might be loved a little more. But the thing you have to remember is they aren’t loving you when they love that person. They love that masked person, but they aren’t loving you.
Then there are those people who drool over your quirks. & even when they get past the new friend everything you do is cool stage, & become slightly annoyed by your gum popping & walrus laugh, they still stay because there’s something deeper than vanity. There’s a truth your eyes that turns all Titanic on the two of you & screams I’ll never let go. There’s God breath & a bit of unconditionalness.
& right when you think this is all going no where, I’m about to tell you about this & that, & finish this puzzle that still looks like nothing.
I think you’re really kind.
Blame it on the fact you were born with a heart, I don’t know. But I am completely, utterly sold out on the fact that deep down, you are kind hearted. Because the root of anger & hurt & frustration are almost always offense. Offense is the root of upset. I’m convinced of that, too. & if you truely didn’t care about anything, & you were truly this cold hearted witch as you say, you wouldn’t be angry as much as you’d be apathetic & silent & isolated.
Deep down, I think you know it. That you’ve got some warmth. That there’s sometimes this flicker of light, compelling you’re walls to buckle.
But I see these people, & this is my biggest pet peeve, my biggest hurt. The people who exchange dirty looks at the expense of someone else’s words. The people that make full grown adults feel themselves shrink to the size of toddlers. The ones who cut other’s down in order to simply place people below their feet. The ones who hurt others to elevate themselves.
& honestly, all I want is to know if it was worth it. If they really walked away feeling that much better about themselves. If they got a raise for festering such a deep wound. If they feel cool.
Is it worth it?
Because I think you’re kind. I still do. & I think this goes back to that part where we talk about being true to ourselves & not hiding ourselves behind masks to earn more admirers. I don’t think you’re the cruel kind, & I don’t think you’re any more loved.
Maybe this is just me running in circles. Because all I really want is you. The real you, uncovered & undaunted by what the other people at Starbucks will think of your bright pink lipstick. I drift there frequently, heart softened at the thought of everyone being their truest selves, oblivious to every other person around them. & I think you’re still kind, & so when I see you placing others in the line of fire for the sake of a good laugh & I see those red shoes in the back of your closet untouched because people might stare, it’s a little disheartning. It’s a little frustrating. I’m a little offended. Because I think that God is great. I think he is the most magnificent artist, & I see his hands at the root of all things, particularly glistening, & particularly you. I see creation living to its full potential, lionesses protecting her cubs, mama birds shoving worms down the babe’s throats, trees embracing every knot in wood, & leaves doing that fall dance without hesitance, & I guess I just wonder what you would look like doing the same.