Posted in Being Vulnerable

Perfect isn’t pretty

I feel as I get older I start to resonate more and more with my mom’s wise words, “looks don’t last forever”.

Yes, I was a shallow kid. Like most university students, I wanted to date the hottest guys. And I remember drooling over one guy and my mom gently reminding me, “it won’t be like that forever.”

And at the time I thought she was just talking about his body, but what I’ve come to realize is she was talking about all bodies.

Our bodies change.

We get older and they transform.

And this is usually met with denial and resistance, but maybe it doesn’t have to be.

Maybe perfect isn’t pretty.

What if what’s actually pretty is people’s “flaws”.

Because aren’t our flaws what bring us together and say, me too?

-B.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Comparison is the thief of joy. -Brene Brown

Something I’ve been working on for a few years now is my comparative thoughts.

I, like most people, am really hard on myself.

I have high expectations of where I should be in life and what I should look like throughout my life.

These expectations were molded by my family, but also by my environment.

But as I’ve gotten older I’ve started to question if these expectations were truly serving me.

Basically, was my practice of comparing myself to others helpful?

And I’ve painfully discovered, it isn’t.

It actually makes me feel like shit.

And if I truly love myself, why would I want to make myself feel this way?

I think, especially after losing my job last year due to covid, I realized I’m not okay with it.

The ego death I had during that time seriously awakened me to my humongous insecurity around being seen as intelligent, ambitious and productive.

And I battled greatly with this death.

I still do.

But what I came to realize was I am enough regardless of my productivity and achievements.

Of course, I’ll probably always secretly seek a little approval, but that seeking is diminishing.

And so are my comparative thoughts.

And it sucks that it took me hitting the fucking floor to acknowledge my worth.

I wish I had seen how powerful and capable I am prior to that moment.

But that’s life, right?

Sometimes we need to fall in order to fly.

-B.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

The almond croissant

Recently I had a big reaction over a burnt almond croissant.

The reaction went from disappointment to rage to grief to tears to seeking justice within 30 minutes.

It was alot to witness and alot to endure.

I still stand by my feelings that the croissant was burnt and did not meet my croissant high expectations.

But, I did nothing about it.

Because I’m ashamed by the idea of causing a public scene and because I wanted to rise above.

But deep down, I was crushed.

And also tired as I stayed up late the night before.

The whole drama though still sits with me because I know where those feelings were coming from.

They come from my need to seek perfection.

Which is what I’ve always done.

So when I’m faced with things or people or events that are below my standard of perfect, I tend to want to have a bitch fit.

Do I though?

Not normally.

But this time felt different.

This time I felt safe to express my deep dissatisfaction without being scared of seeming like a chronic complainer, which I loathe the idea of becoming.

Because I was with you.

I normally never complain because I was raised not to, but with you in this almond croissant fiasco I felt safe to be me.

The scared little girl who just wants to control everything so she doesn’t have to feel anything.

That was me in that moment.

And you held me in that same moment and said it’s okay to cry, I got you.

-B.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Pain with style

I get tattoos so I can feel my pain externally rather than internally.

And don’t say that’s what cutters do.

Because there’s no art in slicing and dicing.

There’s only a mess.

And I’m a mess already.

I don’t need a massacre in my room to prove that.

What I need is black ink on my skin as a biography of my story.

Because I want you to witness my pain in my art and see that I own my story.

-B.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Until recently

I thought I would die young.

I thought something would happen at 40 and I’d just be crushed.

So I never dreamed of owning a home or building a life.

I only dreamed of living in the present and wandering through life with complete abandon.

I’ve always seen myself that way.

A free spirit.

A trapped soul, even.

I have felt like I don’t belong for so long that I stopped caring.

I would just skip down the halls anyways.

I rejoiced in my oddity.

But then I met a boy one day who didn’t think this way.

He didn’t see his time as finite and that was new for me.

It kind of sparked a curiosity in me.

Will I live longer than 40, I asked myself?

Should I consider owning a home?

If I live that long, what do I actually want out of this life?

And these thoughts kept following me like hungry children in Target asking for popcorn.

I couldn’t shake them.

Until one day, I realized, why continue trying to shake them?

Why don’t I feed them the god damn popcorn?

So I gave them a little.

And the thoughts relaxed.

But not only did they relax, they opened up to me.

They started whispering, what if you’ll actually be happy living longer?

What if commitment is not that scary?

What if you’ll be okay staying?

And that’s something I never had considered before.

What if, I whispered again, I’ll be okay staying.

What would that look like?

-B.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Lost Connections- Johann Hari

Thank you, Johann, for validating my experience through your research and brilliant journalism.

My anxiety and depression is not due to a chemical imbalance or a vitamin deficiency and after many years of therapy, I finally know this to be true.

But to be honest, reading Johann also explain this truth through science just makes my heart sing.

I am not alone.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

All I remember

Was you in pain

I’d wake up to the sound of him screaming at you

Then you crying and pleading

Yet staying

I remember the vomiting

The headaches

The bleeding

The fake smiling

All I remember is your pain

And then she died

And I remember the last sparkle of joy

Leave your eyes

Then I watched as the depression

consumed you

And every day I wanted to save you

Heal you

Protect you

But you were told to stay

She told you that’s what god would want

So you did

And once you made that final choice

I knew I had to separate from you

I couldn’t save you

And that broken every piece of my heart because I love you

And I want to see the joy in your eyes again

But I realize now that is not my role to play

So I could not stay.

-B.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

It’s not about blame

Another lesson in therapy.

It’s not about blaming your parents for your pain or blaming your religion or culture or anything.

Blame actually doesn’t help.

It feels good.

Yes.

But it doesn’t heal the wound.

And that’s something I’m having to continue to remind myself.

Because I come from a long line of blamers, similar to Brene Brown.

I’m so comfortable with blaming others because I didn’t witness much accountability as a kid, let’s be honest.

So of course I want to blame you.

Because I watched you blame him or her and think that was okay.

And I’m sure you want to blame me too.

But like I said, it doesn’t help the healing process.

What helps for me is talking about my pain.

Connecting with others about our mutual pain.

And hearing someone say, me too.

That shit heals.

So that’s another reason why I share.

Because I want to fucking heal.

I don’t want to continue to be this angry, bitter Betty who thinks her family fucked her up.

I want to be free from this pain.

I want the wounds to scar over and stop itching for Christ’s sake.

I’m tired of the anger.

-B.