I ask a lot of questions. And they’re good questions. And you’ll answer, and I’ll contribute and we’ll explore the implications, and you’ll be tempted to keep talking, and you’ll be surprised that you’re sharing so much. And the nature of my questions and the extent of your answers will make you feel as if I find you especially interesting. And I might, but I probably don’t. I’m curious about everyone. And eventually, I’ll think I figured you out, and you’ll seem predictable, and regardless of whether or not that’s true, my curiosity will start to dwindle, but you’re used to me asking questions, and in our conversations, you’ve been conditioned to be lazy or self-indulgent; you never really ask anything. You made a lot of assumptions. And you thought I cared more than I did, and I’m sorry but not completely because you should know that people like to be known. And your self-indulgence is boring. And feeling like it was my responsibility to motivate all of our conversations was lonely. And I know it’s not fair, and I know I set you up for failure, and that’s the pattern and that’s how it goes. But I Just want to learn. So if the only time I’m being challenged is when I’m first figuring you out, then our relationship wasn’t going to work out anyway.
When you’re feeling insecure, stop and consider the possibility that you’re giving people too much credit. That you’re placing them in a spot to judge you when they have no qualifications to do so. There is no one better than you. There are just people. People that think they’re the most interesting. People that are wrong. Just as wrong as you. Who think they have the answers, people you want to believe have the answers, but we’re all insecure, and we’re all pretending to know what’s best, and we’re only taking our best guess. Look how smart I am. Every person on this planet is more intelligent than I, and is it any good? Does it really matter?
Don’t be intimidated by bosses, by CEOs or celebrities. They’re people too. People just as wrong as you and maybe more so. Their words have weight because we decided they do not because they hold some sort of objective truth. They carry baggage and probably more of an exaggerated sense of self-importance. So get over them and get over yourself, and keep walking. Have some more confidence because you exist. And that’s a big deal. You exist. And maybe that’s good enough. Speak your truth.
Don’t doubt yourself if your opinion falls on the opposite side of the majority, every innovator’s has. And the masses are misguided — influened by status and greed and positive opinions. If someone laughs at you, they’re the stupid one. Misguided enough to think they know better when they’re cutting themselves to fit perfectly inside the edges of a broken mold – a broken world. And there is no perfect fit or shape. We’re slaughtering other people and animals and spending billions of dollars a year on anti-depressants, distractions, pleasure, and heart attacks. And we’re wrong. And it’s all fucked up.
So exist as you. And consider the possibility that you’re enough.
It’s overwhelming. This moment, Life, right now, pounding through everything, burning,threatening to explode out of my chest if it weren’t to pass so quickly. It always passes so quickly. And I wish I could bottle it up–that fire, this youth. Life, stop moving. Life, slow down. This freedom and this hope and this knowledge that tomorrow will be different, and I’ll miss this warmth, and I don’t want to stare at blackened walls in an empty house whose contents combusted too quickly. and remember. I don’t want to remember this feeling. I want to burn in it.
Sometimes I think that, at the end of the day, the stability of a relationship depends on the number of assumptions you’re willing to make about your partner’s feelings: you’re significant to them, they won’t judge negatively or too harshly, they care, they’ll care tomorrow, they want to be in your life, you can trust them with the key to your house.
Or your thoughts.
I’ve been trained to question assumptions–learned not to hold them too tightly, to examine their fragility and necessity in the support of a conclusion while knowing how harmful they can be to truth and how helpful they can be for persuasion.
It feels presumptuous to assume. And I don’t know how to feel comfortable having someone in my life. And I love the people in my life. I love like a frightened rabbit. Like a reader nearing the end of a book. And I don’tknow how to love with the assumption of a future.
The world is a merry-go-round, and she’s riding it with her eyes closed, arms back, and laughing. Her heart is sunshine, pumping warmth into her veins, and her eyes are moons of possibility. She knows it’s not real. She knows she should stop, but right now it’s life. And right now, it feels good. Spinning. Like hope. Like a movie. Loneliness masked by inebriation, and all anyone see with a glance is significance.
The ride jolts, slows a little, she stumbles. Her feet find the ground, and her mind tries to grasp something. Her eyes open and watch the people around her – spinning and laughing. pretending. Hungry eyes, sloppy attempts to connect, rejection. Look at me, there is no pain, look at me, I’m attractive, significant. Distraction. Look how important we can be. We matter so much. They talk about this or that but mostly themselves and they laugh and listen. or try to. They try, too. Inflated chests, tossed hair. They hold onto each other and move to dark corners. Or reach for balance, arms extended and flailing, looking for the base of a tree. Or a toilet. Laughter. Shattered glass. Music. Possession.
She wonders why she’s awake. Slowing. Observing. But she feels like throwing up, and she doesn’t know if it’s the alcohol or the people, so she takes another shot, closes her eyes, and starts spinning again.
Sometimes good people break my heart.
I have a coworker. Had. Today was her last day; she is moving to a better opportunity. She’s from Bangladesh. I stayed at work late one day, and she was there as well, and we had a conversation, and she was a journalist, before. She moved to the states because her husband was here. Her first language isn’t English, so she couldn’t do journalism any longer. She got a new degree. She started over. I asked her some questions, and she shared how hard it was to live here, far away from her family, doing things she’s not as passionate about, being surrounded by people who are on different pages, and I felt the world get a little bit heavier as I was processing her words. We became friends of sorts, after that. I’d say hi to her when I passed her desk, and we’d have micro conversations. occasionally.
She invited a few of us to a goodbye dinner. She expected to pay for everyone. I wonder if it is a cultural thing. Here, when someone is leaving, they don’t pay for everyone else’s food. Usually the person leaving is the one that gets free things. She also doesn’t make a lot of money. We paid for her. She ended up being very embarrassed and sad. She said she wouldn’t have asked us out to dinner to make us pay.
Before the meal started, she told us to choose everything we wanted. She said she wanted it to be very special — a very memorable experience. And it was. For different reasons. She talked about how grateful she was for all of us. I wondered whether or not I deserved that kind of gratitude. I felt like a fraud. I thought of all the different ways I could have been a better friend. How happy she was that I had given her what I gave her, and I didn’t give her a lot.
I wish I deserved that affection, but mostly my heart hurts in a hopeful sort of way.
There’s something disconcerting to me when people take my seat at a coffee shop as soon as I vacate it. The process is just an uncomfortable reminder of how easy it is to fill a space once I leave it; how easy it is to pretend the space was mine in the first place.