I think the bravest thing someone does sometimes is show up. Not go fight in a war. Not stand up to a bully. Not shoot a bow and arrow through some sort of coronation ring. Nope. Not any of those things that is typically considered a brave thing to do.
I’m talking about showing up to an event. People take one look at you and start sizing you up. You haven’t even opened your mouth yet and you are being judged by every eye in the room. At least all the sober ones. (Let’s be honest. The inebriated ones ain’t gonna remember you after it’s all over.)
I was at a party over the weekend and I felt brave for showing up. I knew the host and a couple other people on the guest list, but the majority of the people on the guest list I did not know. Right before going I had this nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach like the kind of feeling you get if you’re a quiet one like me and sitting in class hoping the teacher doesn’t call on you or the kind of nervous feeling you get before having to give an oral presentation to the class.
Showing up to a party where you don’t know most of the people is in a way, going to battle. You don’t know what these people think of you from how you act to what you say to what you’re wearing. You shouldn’t care what these people think, but there’s always a part of you that will no matter how many parties you’ve been to. Once they’ve met you, it’s all over. You can’t change what they first think of you or go back in time and make them not ever know you.
You may walk away without them remembering you, but you now exist in the world to them and there’s no way to make them think you don’t exist. Even if they forget about the party, meeting you will inevitably come back up in their memory, filed away with all the other fuzzy party memories. It just takes a key to unlock that drawer and once Tinker Bell comes flying out of there, ain’t no way of stopping a mixed up memory from surfacing, like trying to tell the difference between a thimble and a hidden kiss.
Everyone has insecurities. Everyone who is human anyway. Heck, maybe animals have insecurities too, we just don’t speak animal so we don’t know. Maybe plants have insecurities as well, we just don’t speak plant so we don’t know. By we I mean humans in case you were wondering. But I mean, who else would I be referring to if not humans? We’re so selfish it makes sense.
The problem is we care about our insecurities. So we spend time and money on fixing these insecurities until we notice someone with shinier hair, whiter teeth, and fairer skin. Life becomes a video game—always trying to get to the next level while losing lives along the way. It never ends, like laundry or dishes.
It’s so sad people don’t just embrace what makes them different and share that with the world instead of hiding behind everybody else’s thoughts. An insecurity is born out of a thought. By comparing one person’s thought to another one is how we get ourselves into trouble. Because thoughts breed ideas and an idea can be a dangerous thing to hold.
I picked this up today even though it was 15 days ago. I just didn’t get a chance to until now. It was a nice surprise free gift from Ulta. I didn’t want to pass it up even though I’m not really the girly type. Who knows? I may need to use it in the future. I can see why some girls really love this stuff. The packaging of beauty products almost always looks pretty. And shiny too a lot of times. I suppose pretty and shiny appeals to most girls.
Britney Spears has become a kind of good luck charm for me. If I randomly hear her song somewhere, it usually means something good will happen to me. When I listen to her albums, I feel happy and if I feel down, her songs lift me up. It all started with her being the first artist I ever became a fan of such a long time ago. Some people have made fun of me for liking her, but I mean, if she’s got so many fans she’s super famous, there are a lot of people out there who would disagree with those people who made fun of me for liking her. That has to count for something right?
Well, the next few days, and hopefully this won’t last for more than a few days, I will be listening to Britney Spears a lot or at least wishing I could hear her song randomly somewhere.
I remember getting a B on that English paper back in 12th grade, a satire, something about dead skin cells, and it was my suggestion. “Ew!” my friend said. It was her immediate reaction. I didn’t know how to tell her that I see past all the “ewness” and I love it. I deal with stuff that’s not so pretty all the time. It’s a gift. Dealing with stuff that’s not so pretty is a beautiful thing and sometimes it feels like I’m one of the few people who understands this. Plus satires are meant to have gross things in them to use for exaggeration purposes and dead skin cells seemed like the perfect touch. I even kind of remember my English teacher commenting on the paper that she liked it. But who knows. My brain could be making up that memory just because it seems like that memory would make sense. I bet some Psych major out there knows exactly what this is called. But I’m no Psych major. I’m just the girl who can not flinch when people talk about dead skin cells.
If I take the highway to work, I’m always afraid I’ll run into traffic in the form of a car wreck, weather conditions, or road construction. If I take local roads to work, it takes longer to get to work and there’s always a possibility I might run some animal over. Either way there’s an underlying anxiety I will be late for work or hurt a living being and be late at the same time. Thus, most every weekday morning my stomach is in knots. I do this every morning for so long my stomach is used to it. Soy nerviosa doesn’t just describe my Amber Yang character, but describes me as well and is just one of the many characteristics I share with the girl from my first real novel.
The verdict is local roads. I’ve been avoiding the highway because I prefer going at a slower speed. That’s just me. (And if you catch my drift, you’ll know I’m not just talking about driving. But please don’t overanalyze that last statement into something dirty because that’s not what I was referring to either. I’m not that kinda girl.) Plus I’ve already been involved in my first car wreck on the highway last year so I’m not looking for another one. Lately local roads have had a lot of road construction going on and as a result some mornings I’ve had to take a detour unexpectedly. I’m also not that into surprises, but I can roll with them and get used to them pretty much like anything else out of the blue. This got me thinking about the roads life takes us. We may have that ultimate goal we want to reach. There may be one straight shot path to get there, but along that path there are going to be road blocks. These road blocks can be anything from distractions to physical injuries to monsters we invent in our minds that keep telling us we can’t do something to literally having to move away. Yet through all the obstacles, real or imagined, we can still find our way back down that straight shot path. It’s just up to us to find the detour that will get us back on track.
Our biggest fear is not to be needed anymore. It goes with not achieving what we really want to do in our lives. Just ask your parents or grandparents. If there was a dream they really wanted to realize, but didn’t get to after having kids or some other type of interruption, they probably are hoping their kids will realize it for them to kind of continue the journey, to keep the dream alive.
Then there are the parents who end up making their kids their life and when their kids no longer need financial support, the visits disappear completely. But enough about parents. I didn’t mean to make this about parents. Some people don’t have parents.
I wanted to focus on the idea of basing our self-worth on being needed. It could be a job we really value or a relationship with a family member where the family member depends on us to be there for them, anything like that. We get used to the job or family member being there, but then one day the job changes and maybe we find ourselves looking for new positions or the family member grows up or heals and doesn’t need us around anymore. What happens then?
Do we lose who we are or find something else to base our self-worth on? And if we do have to shift our focus, what should that be? Maybe the question isn’t what we should focus on. Maybe it’s simply let’s stop measuring and start living.
Show interest is what they said. But I would tell them there are certain moments in life you really wish you were inside a soundproof room so you could scream all your problems away. Or at least rid yourself of that nasty feeling in the pit of your stomach that seems to nag at you in the least convenient way possible at the most awkward moments in time. How do you do it?
There’s no way someone could see through to your thoughts. You have to express them in words, but what if there are no words to describe what you are going through? What if you must use dance or pictures, but you have none at hand and no footloose skills? Time. Someone would need to observe you when you don’t know they are watching. At the very least they would be able to deduce whether you have integrity or not. When you’re driving on the highway are you one of those who slows down as soon as a cop is driving by? Or do you follow the speed limit no matter what?
Don’t be too of anything. Too smart. Too skinny. Too boring. Too broken. We’re all broken though. Show me someone who’s not broken and I’ll show you someone who’s lying. Show interest is what they said. But I would tell them grab a parachute and just jump already.