be like you

an essay on self-sufficiency

I spend so much time alone that when I’m actually with people, I find that I’m out of practice. How do I tell a funny story? How do I make a I’m listening and interested face? How do I connect your words to your perspective and your context and think my own thoughts at the same time? Why do you use that inflection and that tone and phrase your words that way? Language.

“You know nothing,” seems accurate
And I had this really interesting conversation with a colleague today that sparked something in my chest. We were discussing an interview she read with Will Smith about that new football concussion movie he’s in. Uncle Tom’s Cabin for the NFL. And I guess he shadowed the doctor he portrays in the film. During an autopsy, he noticed the woman on the table had a new tattoo, so fresh it still had its bandage. And how that struck Mr. Smith, as he realized she didn’t expect to die. She expected to live. And I felt my eyes widen with the thought. Tattoos are forever. How long will our forever be? And my colleague said, “so who was that tattoo for? It wasn’t for her. Maybe it was for Will Smith.” And I said, but how do you know when what you’re doing is for yourself or for someone else? And she said, “if you assume that what you’re doing is for someone else, you’re probably better off. That’s probably safe.” But I said, well, but what then if you miss out on something really important because you just assume it’s for someone else?

This I will have to return to.

It’s that quiet, dead time of the year and everyone wears it. I don’t even have to try as hard as usual because no one else is trying so the discrepancy between us isn’t so noticeable. I keep asking, somewhat facetiously, what everyone’s new year resolutions are. Facetiously because I a) don’t make a new year resolution and b) don’t really care.

I just have a hard time saying what I shouldn’t. When I know what I want and I know what I think I have a hard time not. The best way to not is to not. But then what’s the point? I have all the time in the world to not. I spend the majority of my time not. And when you invest so much time objectively studying yourself, when the time comes, you’re usually right.

But I listen to the resolutions around me and I feel myself float away in the moment. They are typical: “lose weight”; “be happy”

It’s a whole new year, 365 additional days, and this is all you can think of? Come on. 

“We are all shapeshifters.” I have a hard time separating my expectations from the person in front of me. I have a hard time separating someone’s potential with their reality. I have a hard time not believing in someone, and this often comes off as…I display it as…snobbery, disdain, disinterest.

Why are you wasting your time with this? You are better than this. This doesn’t matter. You deserve so much more. Is what I think, but not how I say.

I was raised very much with “figure it out” and “nobody cares”; and I find this being my default attitude. My default response. I lack in the context though, and this is where people fill up the gaps with negativity or…fear, I guess. Most often, fear. They fear my opinion. They fear my reaction. They fear ____.

Figure it out because you are fully capable of doing so.
Nobody cares but you don’t need them to. Your cares are the only cares that matter. Maybe it’s wrong…selfish…conceited, but I feel like I’m over here: trying, working, doing my best to be my best, and everyone else is half-assing it and wants me to forgive them for it. No. Pull your own weight, so we can be awesome together. I want to surround myself with awesome.

I lose people in my love for them because I want them to be their best self, and when they fail I get tired of waiting and I leave. Settle, go ahead. But I think I have a right as a fan of you to say, I’m disappointed. You know there is some truth in it. I’ve sprung free from your heart-shaped box.


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