Life Isn’t A Poetry Reading

This is what normal small talk is like:

“Nice weather we’re having.”

“Yes, but I heard there will be thunderstorms on Thursday.”

“No? Well, I knew it couldn’t stay this hot.” 

And this is what small talk is like when you talk to me:

“Change either upsets me or thrills me. I cried when my childhood swing set was taken down, but have dyed my hair blue, black, blonde, and red at different times in my life.” 

“But I’m not afraid of change. I’m afraid of being here, being alive, for years and years but then realizing that my life hasn’t really been worth anything.”

As you can see, I’m pretty comfortable talking about anything with anyone. (This blog is evidence of that). I wouldn’t really consider myself an open book because I’m still fairly shy, but I do let it all out there when I feel safe. 

I mean, I’ve been reading my own poetry to crowds ever since I can remember. I’ve been revealing some of my innermost thoughts to a live audience for most of my adult life. 

So, why shouldn’t it be any different in my everyday life? 

Oh yeah. Because it 100% weirds people out. 

My mom has always said that I “speak my own truth.” That is, I like to tell you what I think about something. But not in a Simon Cowell way. Just in a “and that’s my take” kind of way. And I can’t really be any different. 

But like I said, people find that weird if it’s not in blog format. 

But do you know what I say? I say let’s cut  to the chase. Let’s be brave. And say what we really feel. Let’s tell our own truths. 

So, when someone starts talking about the weather…

Don’t say “isn’t it nice out?”

Say, “isn’t the sky so blue and beautiful today?” 

Adorn Your Own Heart

I don’t think anyone wants to be disagreeable.

I don’t think a person’s feet hit the floor when they roll out of bed, and they think to themselves, Hmmm,  I’m going to act like I ate a full serving of b*tch flakes today, and then I’m going to act like someone peed in them. Specifically, I’m going to cut in line at my local Starbucks and then ask for really specific things in my latte. Like, for it to be hand-stirred. 

But then again, I don’t think people want to be too agreeable, either. You don’t want to be a sheep or a lemming. You want to be cordial, but not naive.

Then, there’s me. I will walk into traffic to avoid an argument. I do everything I can to make someone feel comfortable around me and to make them like me, even when they’ve already decided what they will about me. This has pretty much always been my reality, but recently, it has gotten a lot worse.

I find myself nodding when someone says they like something, on instinct. Almost anything. Even if I’ve never heard of it. And I have to stop myself and think, Wait, I don’t listen to Elvis cover bands. Why did I just say that peanut butter, banana, and bacon is my favorite sandwich? All in the name of amiableness. I am the Miss Congeniality.

And it’s not that I am trying to be disingenuous. I’m just trying to be nice…aren’t I? I’m trying to make the other person feel safe in my company. The problem is that I just start hanging up posters of things I don’t entirely like inside my heart. I pump blood through my veins that is driven by someone else’s passion. I create shrines inside myself to activities like pilates and white water rafting because not only can I somehow connect with the people I know on these newfound interests, but I can be intriguing to the people I’m still waiting to meet.

But the truth is, (I’ve come to realize) if you don’t adorn your own heart with the things that YOU love, you might lose yourself (and maybe that friend) completely.  Like your life, your heart is only what you make of it and how much love is inside.