For much of my life, the world has been getting the muted version of me. For years, I wanted to speak out, to say exactly what I was thinking but I was afraid. I didn’t want to offend the following: my husband, my patients, my family, my friends, you, or anyone else out there who had (or who could have) a pleasantly formed opinion of me.
Holding back was part of me for a long time, perhaps forever. Last year, I realized that it has simply gone on too long and the cost was too high. This realization came to me when I found myself talking to my husband in that slightly too-syrupy voice. Again. In order to not offend him. The ironic part? He doesn’t give a shit about voice tone. He wouldn’t have been offended in the first place.
So I was curtailing my voice for crazy here. And not the fun quirky crazy who hand-makes wind-chimes out of old watering can spouts: the rough kind. The kind who was so worried about you judging her that she watched her every step. She lived in a world of eggshells knowing if there was one misstep it might all break. And then on some days, she would get so sick of the eggshells that she would bring out an emotional Uzi and blast everyone away. That kind of crazy.*
*Just a footnote: I am not speaking of a real gun. To prove this and my lack of knowledge of guns (beyond a few target practices with my dad as a kid), I will reveal this embarrassing fact: I just had to look up the spelling of Uzi (for those who want to know, it is not in fact “o-o-z-i-e”). I also inadvertently learned that once you get the spelling right, there is a frightening amount of information about guns on the internet.
Back to me. Those of you who know me are wondering what the fuck I am talking about. You know that I can be downright obnoxious and loud. Some might say inappropriate even. I swear like a sailor, I laugh too loud (my sister says her eardrum was never the same circa 1998 when we saw “There’s Something About Mary” together), and I offend people. But despite all of this free, outspoken, I-am-woman-hear-me-roar bullshit, I can be like pudding on the inside. Soft, and mushy and a little too sweet.
Here is the deal: I am essentially a kind person. I care a lot about human beings and their happiness. I try to only purchase and consume meat that was raised with compassion and allowed to go outside. I am allergic to cats but I love them so much I will take getting itchy to cuddle with one. I am judgmental and I might judge you. I promise though, no worse than I judge myself. And I am getting better at compassion every day.
For an internal glimpse: in that moment when I am about to win a board game, I desperately wish for my opponent, the underdog, to win. Even though it means me losing. Because in my heart, I want fiercely to believe in miracles.
On a good day, I believe in the fairy tale. On a bad one, I want to punch the fairy tale in its smug fucking face. I can worry constantly about what you think. Do you like me? Do you think I’m too loud? Too crazy? Too mean? Too soft? Too hard? You get the picture. I want you to like me. I want you to love me in fact. Because despite the fact that I know that your opinion doesn’t actually mean anything about me, a tiny part of my brain still believes that if I did it all exactly perfect, got it all right, everyone would love me. Everyone would love me and that would mean something. Like I leveled up or proved myself. Proved that I am worthy with a capital W.
And I have decided to say fuck that. I am declaring that I am worthy because I am here on this fucking planet. I was born and I will die and I am worthy every moment in between regardless whether I am wasting my time watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the 18th time through (gotta love some Joss Whedon) or if I am enlightening the world with my wit. Through it all, my worth is remains steady.
And here is the real un-sleight of hand: you are too. I can think you are a bitch or the bee’s knees but it doesn’t mean a goddamn thing. Last time I checked, nobody made me god. But that doesn’t mean I am not divine. We all sparkle on the inside.
Also, I really love those wind-chimes in that picture up there. I think I might try to make some. I guess I am that kind of crazy after all.