“Love is not the admiration of perfection, but the acceptance of an imperfect person with all his imperfections, because loving and accepting him makes us better and stronger.”
-Harold S. Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People (147).
Take me as I am
They run deep. and strong. and personal.
I have hormones. and instincts. and issues.
I love words. a clever joke. or a math puzzle.
With small eyes. a big nose. a few imperfect teeth.
I make mistakes. have flaws. feel embarrassing moments.
I am! I am! I am!
I am me, and am not another
Take me as I am
And stop apologizing.
I was sarcastic before it was cool, before I could even spell the word.
Adults told me people were good, I could be anything I wanted, and my peers would like me for who I was.
Let’s keep this under a few thousand words, and just say that I experienced a few examples to the contrary.
Let’s also clarify that I was never covered in boils, told that my toys all died under the collapsed roof of my bedroom, and that the plush ones ran away after their toy box caught fire.
I had a few of the usual letdowns, disappointments, and lack of any childhood friends to speak of. I probably should have hit less.
Mostly, though, I attained my worldview from watching and reading.
The point I want to make, however, is:
I have been happily jaded for a while and felt unique in this position. But, my complaints are drowned out in a chorus of many whining voices. My wry observations have already been mentioned by other dispirited souls.
Whether the world has slowly become embittered like me, or I just entered an adult world that was that way, I’m not sure.
The discontented dirge is depressing to listen to. I look around at mirrored expressions of frustrated apathy, and wish for a smile.
But, we all think we’ve had it. If any lonely optimists wander into camp, they’re seized upon and beaten down till they join us or die.
Recognition is the first step: yes, life sucks. I’m even okay with complaining about that fact, because I do.
This morning, I remembered a scene from the movie Enchanted: Giselle has just entered The Real World and needs help. In her ignorance, she climbs a billboard displaying a castle and knocks. Not surprisingly, no one answers. Robert and his daughter drive by, notice her error, and rescue her.
Sometimes, we are trying to repeatedly go somewhere we cannot and we do not understand why. Feeling discouraged, we complain. Another person, passing by, points out alternate options: change perspective, look at your accomplishments, realize that things get better, and have a hug.
Take the advice and hug the help. Heal, and move on. You can do it.
Just, don’t get stuck. If all we’re doing is seeking attention like an over-indulged toddler, the adults are going to stop helping and start leaving us pounding on an empty door.