I’m up late. Or early I suppose, depending on how you look at it. I just finished rereading The Perks of Being a Wallflower and I’m feeling some wordless emotion. There is this one part where Sam and Charlie are talking and she says to him:
“It’s just that I don’t want to be somebody’s crush. If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am. And I don’t want them to carry it around inside. I want them to show me, so I can feel it, too. I want them to be able to do whatever they want around me. And if they do something I don’t like, I’ll tell them.” She was starting to cry a little. But she wasn’t sad. “You know I blamed Craig for not letting me do things? You know how stupid I feel about that now? Maybe he didn’t really encourage me to do things, but he didn’t prevent me from doing them either. But after a while, I didn’t do things because I didn’t want him to think different about me. But the thing is, I wasn’t being honest. So, why would I care whether or not he loved me when he didn’t really even know me?”
Excerpt From: Chbosky, Stephen. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
And I thought, yes, that is exactly it.
I googled ‘Carrie Bradshaw pearls’ because I am looking for inspiration for my birthday outfit. I ran across a fashion website counting down Carrie’s worst fashion mistakes. Her visible bra, her short shorts (which they called ghetto–which made me cringe), her hats…and I thought “they missed the point of her.” Carrie, and really every woman, is beautiful because of her so-called mistakes. They make up a significant portion of who we are, I think. And for someone to want to clean Carrie up…means they don’t know her. Like Sam and Charlie.
Then, I thought of how many people know me. A handful maybe. I used to be a lot more self righteous. I thought I knew better. It took my friend and a suicide scare for me to realize how wrong I was. I have another friend who’s pregnant right now and lies a lot. To everyone, but mainly herself. We all know she does it but its not hurtful so we never say anything about it. But I wonder if she thinks we want to clean her up. I wonder if she thinks we don’t really get her. Maybe we don’t.
I guess sometimes in our heads we have reasons as to why we hide parts. Reasons we tell lies or stay quiet or omit. Sometimes its easier. You feel like people don’t really want to know how you are. They are just being polite. But what if they do?
I think people get uncomfortable when they can’t help. Like when you tell them a story and they start giving you advice or feedback you didn’t really want. My married friends do that. So do mom friends. And it always cycles back around to them and how you don’t understand because you’re not a wife, or a mom. But that’s an excuse too.
I’ve been an insatiable sleeper lately, very quiet and very contemplative. Also, selective of how I expend energy. I don’t feel melancholy, exactly, but I do not feel as exuberant as usual. That never felt like a lie. I guess the best thing is that people are letting me be. Maybe that speaks to the quality of relationships here. My classmates are the best people on earth. People who can love your sunshine and your rain. Those are good people.
I had a friend who’s husband was unfaithful. I was one of the few people who knew and when they stayed together she stopped talking to me. Because I knew, I think. I told her that I don’t think she’s a bad or stupid person and we started talking again. Sometimes people can’t look at you because they see too many things they’re trying not to see. And sometimes its because they think you see something they don’t want you to. I try very hard to “zoom out” and see the person. Not the stuff. Because we’re not our stuff. Truth or lies.
I got my fill of holding my tongue when I took Terri’s class. But when I spoke, my voice had too much magnetism and it kept bringing people to me that I didn’t want. I didn’t really get it then. I think I get it better now. My honesty, truthfully my vulnerability, sounded a lot like permission. Which is what a lot of people are waiting on. That its safe to come out.
I’m like Sam now. I don’t want to be a crush or some eloquent being you’ve deified in your head. I’d much rather be me; the mess. Not in a self depreciating way. But in a way where you know you don’t have to be anything other than you. Because I’m nothing more than me. The god in all of us makes us all equal, I think. She just wanted to be seen clearly. Honestly.
I’d like to do that. Be more honest. Not worry about people thinking of me differently and just being. I’d like to give myself permission to do that. Because I thought Carrie looked great no matter the outfit. Bra showing or not. There’s a lot that’s beautiful about loving yourself past other peoples insecurities. They try to give them to you, you know. I loved that she never accepted them. I think Carrie is a lot like Sam.