today I went to this store to pick up an item I’d ordered that had arrived and after the cashier went to the stock room to find it, another really gorgeous girl who worked there, rolling a cart, stopped dead in her tracks as I made eye contact with her and said, “you are really gorgeous. I mean really. your style, your legs, your face, your hair, everything. you are really pretty.” and then asked me if she could help me and I told her I had already been helped and she looked disappointed. she asked me what I was buying and I showed her and she said, “it’s really sweet you’re buying a gift for your friend.” and then she walked away.
i'm just one person trying to make sense of something
I read this quote the other day and thought it was particularly relevant to me and how I operate (and probably to a lot of others on here, too):
"Loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate things that are important to you."
I am not a very poignant person. Sometimes I come off as brash, shy, insecure, “out of it”. I wish it was as easy to express these words with my mouth as easy as it is to type. I liken my mouth to a suitcase that is packed when you are returning home from a trip. When you are leaving to start your trip, you carefully arrange and fold each and every item in your bag; and some people orchestrate their words in verbal communication the same way. I, however, take more of the frenzied approach to packing my bag (words): disorganized, I never can find exactly what I’m looking for so I have to empty out my whole bag to find it.
That being said, the disorganized bag and the carefully packed bag sometimes alternate. We need to remind ourselves that we are not perfect beings and we should not criticize others over their words (or lack their of) when trying to convey emotion. A second grader that wrote me a goodbye note filled with run-ons and fragments and spelling errors makes me cry just as hard as an adult who writes me a beautifully poetic letter telling me all the reasons they love me. Do not discredit any person for conveying any type of written or spoken language. That language is a privilege that we constantly take for granted because we always try to selfishly attach our own selves to the words. Next time, think about that person and how they felt/are feeling when expressing something to you. Think about their lives and experiences that are attached to those words. Think about the hurt. Think about the joy. Think about the anger. But please, don’t make their expression about yourself.
I will not tolerate being any one’s emotional crutch who is not willing to do the same for me when I am in need.
- having my first kiss with You when we were 14, inside a tunnel at a park, which felt like my great aunt kissing me, but I never would admit that because you were shaking
- slow dancing in the rain with You in the rain outside a church in Reynosa, Mexico when we were 15
- waking up in the morning because someone slammed the door, pants-less, on a mattress in my best friend’s living room; hickeys all over my neck and body, too drunk to remember what really happened between us; you were cold, sober and distant; I was naive
- being trapped at your new apartment after my car was towed, doing things I told myself I wouldn’t; I even bought you a burger the next day after spending 4 silent hours with you in 100 degree heat at the towing lot
- you wrote me letters in French on scraps of paper every night of our group trip and made me figure out how to translate them—they were about how much you adored me but scared to admit it. I still have them. even the ones on airplane barf bags.
- you taking me in your arms after you noticed me silently crying during a song at a concert of a band I never thought I’d see with you; you kissed my cheeks over and over and repeatedly whispered that you loved me and I wished it wasn’t a platonic love
- slow dancing in the lake house living room to Take Care by Beach House, I was drenched in lake water from skinny dipping 20 minutes prior, you held me close like you had almost lost me and laughed
- when I was hysterically crying over Jordan’s death that late night in the lake house kitchen, I just wanted you to hear me and you just wanted me to be quiet
Listen, I am all about sharing things you are excited about with others you love and care about. I do this all the time. However, sharing is not a competition. If I told you about an art installation I’ve been dying to see, a place in nature I’d to hike, or a natural well of water I wanted to swim in—it’s probably because I want to do it with you and I care about you enough to tell you this. I understand that sometimes our circumstances are different and I am not physically there to do these things I am excited about with you. I accept that you will probably go without me, whether I like it or not because that’s the person you are. But know that there are two very different tunes to how this plays out: 1) You can tell me that you visited the place (that I told you that you would love) and that you did, in fact, love it; I will be happy for you that you found a similar feeling. 2) You can boast about it on Instagram, wait until I see the picture, comment with a knife emoji and then gloat about it to me over text, complete with photos; I will be frustrated with you. All this says to me is that, once again, you did not acknowledge I am more of an important influence on your life than you make me out to be. Get it together, idiot. I fucking like you and every single time you rip out this rug of CARE from beneath me my chest caves in on my heart a little more.
When you are hurting, there will always be people who find a way to make it about themselves. If you break your wrist, they’ll complain about a sprained ankle. If you are sad, they’re sadder. If you’re asking for help, they’ll demand more attention.
Here is a fact: I was in a hospital and sobbing into my palms when a woman approached me and asked why I was making so much noise and I managed to stutter that my best friend shot himself in the head and now he was 100% certified dead and she made this little grunt and had the nerve to tell me, “Well now you made me sad.”
When you get angry, there are going to be people who ask you to shut up and sit down, and they’re not going to do it nicely. Theirs are the faces that turn bright red before you have a chance to finish your sentence. They won’t ask you to explain yourself. They’ll be mad that you’re mad and that will be their whole reason alone.
Here is a fact: I was in an alleyway a few weeks ago, stroking my friend’s back as she vomited fourteen tequila shots. “I hate men,” she wheezed as her sides heaved, “I hate all of them.”
I braided her hair so it wouldn’t get caught in the mess. I didn’t correct her and reply that she does in fact love her father and her little brother too, that there are strangers she has yet to meet that will be better for her than any of her shitty ex-boyfriends, that half of our group of friends identifies as male - I could hear each of her bruises in those words and I didn’t ask her to soften the blow when she was trying to buff them out of her skin. She doesn’t hate all men. She never did.
She had the misfortune to be overheard by a drunk guy in an ill-fitting suit, a boy trying to look like a man and leering down my dress as he stormed towards us. “Fuck you, lady,” he said, “Fuck you. Not all men are evil, you know.”
“Thanks,” I told him dryly, pulling on her hand, trying to get her inside again, “See you.”
He followed us. Wouldn’t stop shouting. How dare she get mad. How dare she was hurting. “It’s hard for me too!” he yowled after us. “With fuckers like you, how’s a guy supposed to live?”
Here’s a fact: my father is Cuban and my genes repeat his. Once one of my teachers looked at my heritage and said, “Your skin doesn’t look dirty enough to be a Mexican.”
When my cheeks grew pink and my tongue dried up, someone else in the classroom stood up. “You can’t say that,” he said, “That’s fucking racist. We could report you for that.”
Our teacher turned vicious. “You wanna fail this class? Go ahead. Report me. I was joking. It’s my word against yours. I hate kids like you. You think you’ve got all the power - you don’t. I do.”
Later that kid and I became close friends and we skipped class to do anything else and the two of us were lying on our backs staring up at the sky and as we talked about that moment, he sighed, “I hate white people.” His girlfriend is white and so is his mom. I reached out until my fingers were resting in the warmth of his palm.
He spoke up each time our teacher said something shitty. He failed the class. I stayed silent. I got the A but I wish that I didn’t.
Here is a fact: I think gender is a social construct and people that want to tell others what defines it just haven’t done their homework. I personally happen to have the luck of the draw and am the same gender as my sex, which basically just means society leaves me alone about this one particular thing.
Until I met Alex, who said he hated cis people. My throat closed up. I’m not good at confrontation. I avoided him because I didn’t want to bother him.
One day I was going on a walk and I found him behind our school, bleeding out of the side of his mouth. The only thing I really know is how to patch people up. He winced when the antibacterial cream went across his new wounds. “I hate cis people,” he said weakly.
I looked at him and pushed his hair back from his head. “I understand why you do.”
Here is a fact: anger is a secondary emotion. Anger is how people stop themselves from hurting. Anger is how people stop themselves by empathizing.
It is easy for the drunken man to be mad at my friend. If he says “Hey, fuck you, lady,” he doesn’t have to worry about what’s so wrong about men.
It’s easy for my teacher to fail the kids who speak up. If we’re just smart-ass students, it’s not his fault we fuck up.
It’s easy for me to hate Alex for labeling me as dangerous when I’ve never hurt someone a day in my life. But I’m safe in my skin and his life is at risk just by going to the bathroom. I understand why he says things like that. I finally do.
There’s a difference between the spread of hatred and the frustration of people who are hurting. The thing is, when you are broken, there will always be someone who says “I’m worse, stop talking.” There will always be people who are mad you’re trying to steal the attention. There will always be people who get mad at the same time as you do - they hate being challenged. It changes the rules.
I say I hate all Mondays but my sister was born on one and she’s the greatest joy I have ever known. I say I hate brown but it’s really just the word and how it turns your mouth down - the colour is my hair and my eyes and my favorite sweater. I say I hate pineapple but I still try it again every Easter, just to see if it stings less this year. It’s okay to be sad when you hear someone generalize a group you’re in. But instead of assuming they’re evil and filled with hatred, maybe ask them why they think that way - who knows, you might just end up with a new and kind friend.
written by By telling the oppressed that their anger is unjustified, you allow the oppression to continue. I know it’s hard to stay calm. I know it’s scary. But you’re coming from the safe place and they aren’t. Just please … Try to be more understanding. /// r.i.d (via inkskinned)