Y’all don’t mind if I sit down get honest with you, do you? Thanks.
For those who know me and that’s why you follow my blog, you may understand what I’m talking about. For those who read this and don’t know me personally, welcome to my world.
Today I’m tired.
Not ‘I haven’t slept in days, putting in too many hours at work’ tired. More along the lines of today I’m tired of being good. Not in the sense I want to go out and commit crimes and be reckless, but in the sense, I want to take a break from walking this very tight line I walk daily. Even if it’s just one moment in private and no one else sees it. But at this point even that may not quell the unrest inside.
Caveat: I love my life. Overall, I really do. I travel and have a steady job with good benefits. I have wonderful family and friends and friends who’ve become closer than family. I own my own car and my apartment is chock-full of character and fun history AND a claw-foot tub. I do what I love- write and bake- in my free time. My calendar fills up fast and I have things planned through til my birthday in September. My faith has never been stronger. My church family is beyond amazing. I thrill at singing in the choir every week. I have pretty good life with few things missing.
But today at work I realized I want to just quit for a day. All of it. Maybe longer. Maybe has something to do with dinner last night. One of my cousins was staying with me for a couple days and we got together with my sisters for dinner. Back at my apartment she was telling me how as soon as I excused myself to the restroom the attitude of the table changed. All the words and jokes everyone felt they couldn’t say in front of me came out and when I made it back to the table they all clammed up. Now, I really appreciate they respect me enough to not be profane and vulgar – most of the time- when I’m around, but it struck me differently this time. A coworker a couple weeks ago was shocked I knew how to get angry. We’ve worked together about three years and for the first time she saw me express a level of anger and she was shocked and relieved. I was embarrassed. Do people really put me on some kind of anti-emotion, anti-joke pedestal and think I can’t- or don’t- have negative emotions or like to laugh? Yes, I’m called a prude on a regular basis.
Ya know what? I’ll say it: It hurts. It’s frustrating and suffocating to be boxed in so much. I laugh, cry, scream, shake with rage, long for someone to hold me, plead with God for a husband, a child, a family of my own. It’s not that I’m not grateful for what I already have, but that I know something is still missing and there’s a hole where that last piece goes. It’s that when people call me “prude” or tell me to just go get laid they’re dismissing not just one part of my life, but my whole way of living. They’re reducing me, as a whole person, to sex or a dirty joke. When someone is shocked I actually have times of anger, it’s not flattering. It’s telling me they see me as less than human, or more than human. They don’t see my flaws. That puts both of us in a dangerous situation- me to fall from grace and them to walk away disenchanted when I don’t act as they expect.
My faith keeps me going. It keeps me evaluating my actions and words to become better. I remind myself I have to be pleasing in God’s eyes. My goal is to hear, “Well done,” at the end of this intense journey called Life. And that’s all my choice. I choose to live this life and it’s made me a better person than I ever imaged I could be. But sometimes- just sometimes- when circumstances line up just right (or wrong), I want to drop it all, jump of this prison of a pedestal and run to a place people don’t know me. A place of no pressure or expectation. A place where I can be angry if I’m angry or tired if I’m tired or sad if I’m sad. Where I can be imperfect and awkward and silent or too talkative without being expected or assumed to be something else. Where I don’t have to explain WHY I’m hurting or spiraling out of control before someone puts their arms around me and lets me just go through it safely. Somewhere where I’m not made fun of for being chaste, not vulgar or profane, or for dressing modestly. Somewhere I can be unapologetically me. Somewhere where people don’t put me on these pedestals.