Relationships + Emotional Baggage: Telling Little White Lies

October 03, 2008

Lately I’ve been wondering how it is that everyone in my life is so easily contained in themselves. I’ve been wondering how my friends are so beautiful and so pulled together.  And then we talk and there seems to be so much overwhelming dissatisfaction. And I wonder, if you were able to ask for what you wanted, what you really wanted, without hesitation or embarrassment or fear of repercussion, what would it be?

I have this image of myself as kind of a handful. Often, in an attempt to keep friends-lovers-colleagues from being afraid of me, I have toned down aspects of myself, both the good and the bad, to try to meet in some middle ground.  Meet in a place where I am less intense.  Meet in a place where I match the environment that surrounds me.  I had gotten really good at learning how to be exactly what I had gleaned the other person was looking for. The problem with this is of course the moment when you look around yourself and realize that since you have been essentially lying to those people around you, you are surrounded by people who don’t really know you, and it’s your fault.

I hate that feeling.

I hate the feeling of being in a relationship with someone for five months and when you are ready to let your guard down you realize that your girlfriend loved the soft spoken sweet thing that you pretended you were better than who you really are. Or the friends who are suddenly surprised at your outspokenness in a moment when you just couldn’t keep it to yourself anymore.

For these and many other reasons, I have decided that I am done doing this.  It’s impossible to keep up with and it’s terrifying to feel so needlessly alone.  People want to know you.  Maybe not every person, but most.  And people want to love you, the real you, the you who cries for no reason and talks too loud when excited and gets bossy when afraid.  And if you are true to that person from the beginning, when something doesn’t work out, at least you gave it your best shot.  And if someone can’t handle your messiness or baggage or fear, then they would never have been able to, and you are better off.

That said, I will add a little disclaimer, I am not advocating laying everything out on the table all the time.  Each new person deserves their own chance to fuck it all up, without having the past five million people who have hurt you projected upon them to complicate the process. Don’t stop trusting or loving, not every person you meet is going to break your heart.