Hush, Little Baby
Today, I disagreed with someone on the internet, which is not at all revolutionary or uncommon. It was a round about disagreement in which a friend quoted someone saying something I found dangerously false. I said so, and fairly bluntly. The response I received was that because my friend knows (or believes me to be) bitter because I am no longer an officer, he will disregard my comments. I told him that I wasn’t speaking from a place of bitterness, and that my opinion would have been the same months or years ago, and that the only difference is that now, I cannot be punished for disagreeing with someone in leadership. Without explanation, he proceeded to delete my comments altogether.
I’m hurt. I feel a little betrayed by it. He is (was?) a friend. Doesn’t he know, after all these years, that speaking up doesn’t come easily, and that believing that I have a voice worth hearing is something I struggle with every day? To delete my comments, to act as if they have no value, is just about as hurtful as can be. For years, I lived in fear of saying the wrong thing. I still do. I am terrified of it.
I only act mildly brave in hopes of someday actually being brave.
Every Sunday, I read a blog called PostSecret, an art project that features anonymous secrets sent on postcards to the blogger. I’ve sent a few, but they have never been published, and sometimes, I find my own secrets submitted by others who share them. It builds empathy and sometimes lessens the solitude.
Because I’m too tired to censor myself right now, and because I am not going to let this be another reason to crawl back into my hole, I’m just going to say some of the scary things that I am too afraid to say. They are not at all directed at the same person or people, or even to anyone in particular. I just need to say them.
You’re an idiot. Because as smart as you are, you’re missing out. Why can’t you see that? It’s not hard. Take a chance. I’m the safest bet you’ll ever make.
I’m an idiot. Because as smart as I am, I am stuck. And all the good advice in the world hasn’t unstuck me yet. It’s like Gravity. I’m the oldest cliché in the book.
You saved me. In a million ways, you saved me. I don’t have words to explain it or express how grateful I am. The words don’t exist, and it would be too damn awkward to try anyways. But in my darkest time, you held the pieces of me together.
I am afraid. I’m afraid of never having the life I want, the life that almost everyone else has, at least in some part. Every day is another attempt to get there but feels another step farther away from the goal. I’m not looking for a magic fix, or for anything to come without effort, but I know what I want, and it doesn’t seem like I’m getting there any time soon, if ever.
You know that one kiss? The one in the kitchen, after we’d had those few days where we didn’t know what was going on? That was the one that scared me, and the second was the one that made me feel like everything was alright, and I think that is the one that scared you. I wonder what would have happened if… if… if… but I deleted your number.
When you don’t take care of yourself, it feels like you don’t care about me. It feels like you are saying it’s not important for you to be around for any part of the rest of my life. Please start caring. Please.
Alright. That’s as brave as I can be… It doesn’t look like much. It likely doesn’t make sense to anyone but me. But I said them. And that will do for now.