Over the summer I was hit with this sentiment again and again. Conversations would reveal just a big enough crack to wonder if I could trust what I was hearing, or who I was hearing it from. And not from a place of distrust, I didn’t instinctually not trust these conversations and individuals. Quite the opposite, I will always trust you first. I’m a bit gullible, perhaps naive sometimes, but I don’t waiver on believing the best in people.
I’m suspect of people who are surprised by honesty.
I’m often upset with the process it takes to get me from point A to point B. Whether it be a personal conviction or something I need to learn, even a talent I’m refining; I’m a decision maker. I know and then I do. I don’t need convincing, persuading. If it sounds good and aligns with what I’m hear to do – I say yes. I’m frustrated by the process of elimination. There’s always more than one good choice but I’m paralyzed by choice after I’ve made a decision. Because What If is the boogie man who lives underneath my bed. Constantly wrapping those tentacle arms around my ankles and pulling me under. A deep dive into doubt.
But things are not what they seem. A few weeks ago we were out with friends and ran into acquaintances – people we recognize but don’t know. They made comments about how “put together” we looked. Which, lets just get this shit out of the way. My hair was combed, so sure I put myself together. But listen up, let’s not be so insecure that we have to accost strangers into making us feel better about how real we all are. Let’s be human. Why is this so hard? The family who looks like they have everything, could be drowning. Their children might be in trouble, they could be dealing with affairs, financial ruin, deep loss of dreams they had to let go of. They could be on the other side of turmoil, finally able to celebrate. We’re all just walking each other home. Be careful.
I have to remember to take other people out of the box I’ve kept them in. People are not their pasts, their elementary selves on the playground, or their yearbook photo. I don’t want to be in that box, why do I think everyone else just stayed put whilst I ran far, far away?
More than anything I think this phrase was for me. (Things are not what they seem) Not as a warning to listen differently to the people around me, but to listen closely to myself. When I pound the pavement racking up miles and miles of wandering and waiting and looking for the other shoe to drop – things are not what they seem.
As a little girl I asked two questions: Do I matter and am I enough? As females, we all ask these questions. Sometimes they look like begging for belonging, other times these questions look like hiding. And when, as an adult, I start asking these questions it looks like “Where do I belong?” and I always go back to the last place I was sure.
There’s something completely unsettling about this for me. I don’t like starting over (see above: process of elimination, decision maker.) but every time I’m forced to do this all over again I realize more and more that I don’t need to be reminded of the last time I was sure of something so fickle.
Things are not what they seem.
But sometimes they are.