I am who I am. Que sera’, que sera’. You do you. Be yourself.
I am sure you have heard these sayings and I am sure there are more around. A part of my life change was to get in touch with, learn about, and really get to the core of me. What brings me joy? What do I love? What do I want out of life? What do I have to give? What are the boundaries of this life and how do I dance in and around and over them? I am a pilgrim on a journey and I am learning. Every day, all the time.
I am learning that some things about me just are. As in the Declaration of Independence, I hold these truth to be self evident! I have a quick wit and sharp tongue. I am smart, I am assertive and my mouth sometimes leads. I am honest, tenacious, physical and very passionate (that’s for you, Kevin Hills). I seek order, justice, equity and organization in my world. I have always been good with words. I am fiercely protective of anything I care about and will fight, rather than run, when a threat is present. I am generally cool under pressure. I have a gruff exterior, only because you have to earn my trust and confidence. I do not give of myself freely, but once I do, I am fiercely committed and loyal to the end. Or until you fuck me over, then I am out… and so are you.
I was reminded of who I am and what I am about today. I was reading the blog of a very treasured and dear friend. I have not spent the time with his musings that I wanted and this morning, tea in hand, was the perfect time. I was in the mood for some quiet reflection. While reading his posts, you know what I noticed? That the title of the post was #4 and the text later said #5. I then read the words and enjoyed his message. But, what about that little faux pas? I sent him an email yesterday pointing out that his list of articles, by number, was missing #3. I noticed that #3 was there today. That was great to see. But, now the #4 title did not match the #5 reference in the text. I have not brought this to his attention. He may read this, then he will know.
I did not mention this to him because of how my observations may be interpreted. Is that all I see in his musings? Errors and possible typos? Is that all I have to say? Well, no! I read the articles and ingested all of his words and messages. In fact, I went back and read some of his older posts. I had no idea he has been at this for so many years. Somewhere deep down we live parallel lives and are on similar journeys.
That and I, too, have a blog. A perfect blog? No way. I sometimes go back and read my older posts. I find typos. I find sentences that could make more sense. This is part of my hard-wiring. I support folks to be the best they can. In doing so, in my eyes, to point out these little mistakes is to help that person be the best they can. I am NOT coming from a place of perfection, elitism, or “holier than thou”. I make mistakes all the time and certainly do not and cannot begrudge anyone their humanness. My intentions are good.
In my observations of these minor imperfections, I see opportunity for that person to be, do, or have better. Again, I want the best for everyone, especially folks I care about. I want to support them in their growth and journey. I want them to feel proud and confident. Pointing out these minor, and they really are minor, things TO ME helps them achieve their best self. TO ME, these things matter and are a piece of their wholistic pie. It’s a good thing, right??
I am still debating if I will bring this to his attention or if that will do more harm than good. Will my comment will be interpreted as diminishing his message or an appreciated opportunity for growth? I know how I intend my observation, and yet I worry that may not be how it is received. Then again, I cannot be responsible for how everyone interprets anything I say or do. I cannot, or will not, carry that burden. I strive to balance who I am with how I am perceived. I know that I come off gruff, insensitive, uncaring and cold. I am protective of my emotional and psychological energy and I am stingy about what and with whom I share. I am business-like and focused while on a task. Not everyone appreciates that part of me. Then again, I cannot spend my life deep in the throws of how the world sees me. I am on this journey to learn about me, not obsess over how “you” see me. Besides that, not everyone is trustworthy or open enough to receive my deepest parts. I have value and I don’t care to waste my precious personal resources on anyone who may diminish that value. Protective of myself, too.
I also know that I am so much more than the first layer of my exterior. I am more than that person who found a typo in a loved one’s article. I am more than a snide comment or brief exchange. I have many more layers than the one you may see on the outside. I am a loyal friend, a trusted confidant. I am supportive of my circle and a cheering section when needed. I care truly and deeply. My trust is hard earned, yet infinite in it’s depths. I am multifaceted, multilayered and multidimensional. I strive to be genuine, open and welcoming. Some will say I am not, but for ME, I am.
I think the point of all of this is understanding. Not tolerance or acceptance, just understanding. You do not have to emulate or embrace or cherish all parts of me. I get that. But, if we are friends or confidants or having any sort of relationship moving forward, you do have to understand who I am and what I am about. You also have to ask questions and speak up if or when I step on your toes. Don’t carry a hurt I did not intend or an upset that is not for you. Let’s openly discuss when our boundaries clash or when our differences are creating a barrier. I am also malleable, genuine and present, so that conversation will clear the air and we can move on. No grudge here.
Cheers to a deeper understanding of who we are and what we are about; to our connections, the ways we overlap, and the ways we do not.
Cheers to individuality within our shared community!