When you live with someone who calls you crazy for a long time, you start to believe it. I believed it. In fact, I kind of wore it like a badge of honor. Like it was cute. Like it was funny. But the thing is, it wasn’t cute or funny. It was unkind. And that’s the thing; there’s a very fine line between funny and unkind. Especially with people you love.
I get this feeling sometimes I call a squeezy heart. Like there’s literally so much pressure on my heart and it just comes right out of my eyes. Yesterday was a squeezy heart day. I tend to get all forlorn and dramatic on those days, like I WILL NEVER KNOW LOVE AGAIN, but then I stop and think. Did I ever know love to begin with? I don’t think so, not in the way it should be. Not in the way I want it to be. Not love that’s laced with kindness. And being alone is better than excusing bad behavior as humor. I’ll take a squeezy heart over shame any day.
Sometimes we are afraid to say what we really think because we are afraid people will think we are weird or too emotional or a little bit out there. Newsflash: I am weird, I am emotional, and I am out there. Taking a deep breath and just saying all the words inside your head is not easy. But since I started doing it I feel so much better. Like I can breathe again.
Fred Vargas once said, “In extreme circumstances, I think embarrassment is a luxury.” Can I get an amen, a whoop whoop, and a holla back for that? Over the past two years, the changes that have come in my career and in my mindset have brought a big focus in my life on beauty. On being as beautiful as I can possibly bear to be, inside and out. On coaxing that beauty out of other people. On being vulnerable and letting that vulnerability come right out of my face. I think I have become more physically beautiful, I know my soul has become more beautiful. But for me, being single, being alone, is a big huge statement to the world that I am not beautiful enough. It is a source of embarrassment for me. But let’s face it; this is an extreme circumstance, and that is a luxury.
In my logical mind I know that my beauty and value absolutely do not hinge on what some man thinks of me. I also know for certain, judging by the number of them I have to block on Instagram, that there are plenty of men out there that think I am beautiful. I am learning not to look over my shoulder and see who’s looking at me. I am learning to stand tall and let that vulnerability flow from my face and to be proud of it. Because I have worked hard for it. That hole is still there, and I don’t know if it always will be, but I am learning to say: I am confident, I am beautiful, I am enough. All on my own.
So, I can smile, I can breathe deep, and I can say the words. Even if it means that you might think I am weird or too emotional or a little bit out there. Because every time we take the risk and say the words, it becomes a little bit easier. That squeeze lets up just a little. Someone I don’t know very well but I admire a lot told me a few weeks ago, “You’re going to be fine. This is your time. Don’t be afraid to keep it weird,” and I took that to heart. Let’s not be afraid. Let's smile, breathe, and say the words. Don’t be embarrassed to be who you are. Remember that whatever weird marker of value you are putting on yourself, it’s just you that’s putting it on yourself. No one else can see it. Tell someone about it, even if it’s scary. It will make it less squeezy. I promise. You are beautiful.