….I’ve had a quote of hers, handwritten in my twenty year-old script, framed in my apartment on a scrap of torn memo paper when I first heard it and it resonated. Two quotes of hers in fact. The other quote is next to my bed; we’ll get to that. The first:
We make a lot of excuses for people. But they show you who they truly are when you JUST LISTEN. They can try to talk around it, attempt the smoke and mirrors. But all you have to do is be quiet and listen. Not to words, necessarily, but to their every innate method of movement. They are giving you every opportunity to run in the other direction. They want to wave a white flag on your behalf, giving you any out they could possibly invent. I’ve been, oh how should I put it, incredibly fucking stupid for not listening to this advice. The individual in your life who you’re making excuses for is holding a billboard that says, “I AM NOT THE PERSON YOU THINK I AM.”
Their actions, or lack of actions, show you every day. Loud and clear. Megaphone-howling, pyramid-climbing, polyester-wearing, screaming at the top of their cheerleader lungs, “BELIEVE ME.” Sometimes with a marching band with streaming flags and teenage acrobats, but that’s usually for bowl games. Sometimes with a silent glance, but one that, with a recipient’s clear, dare I say, sober, head, it is as loud as the bagpiper at Spanish Bay. And we all love that guy. But, yeah, he’s loud.
We’ve all come across a lot of liars. Often we’ve been that liar. From a little white, whispery one that slithers from lips without a second thought to the creation of another persona of a human being that isn’t truly us. We’re all liars. Go ahead, say you’re not. LIAR.
It’s a quote that gets me through tough times. Because it reminds me that we’re all just human beings. We make mistakes. More often we tell the truth. Yes, I just called everyone liars three sentences ago; stay with me. I believe that people tell the truth; and then they alleviate a potentially high-risk situation by pretending it was just something said in passing. But, it is we on the receiving end of a truth we don’t like who choose to define it a different way. A way that fits us, a way we can analyze into a completely different box, and cram it into that (GET IN THERE), box that we’ve chosen to, (HOLD ON!), make it fit. (LOOK AT THAT, I KNEW IT!) And we make them out the hurtful truth-tellers to be bad people. They’re not. They’re bad truth-tellers. Because they don’t stick to it.
There are some that tell the truth and their truth is amazing. It fits your truth, and wow you’re on the same page, with the same timing, and, are those butterflies? This is a rarity. So, you know what, a-holes? I mean, ahem. You know what, lovely people in the world reading this? When you find it, open your eyes. There’s not something better coming along. If you’ve found someone you connect with, who makes you laugh til your sides hurt, who challenges the very core of your being, who wants you to find work you love, who wants you to travel, see the world, so you can tell your kids about it….you know what? I’m sure the next gal at happy hour will do just that. Dime a fuckin’ dozen, we are.
God knows my friends have been put through the ringer, both male and female (if you’d like a list of these people who have caused said ringers, I have it both chronologically and alphabetically, so please be specific. WARNING: I bear no responsibility for you being on this list).
But I think we hear what we want to hear, what fits our ‘schedule.’ When we DO hear their truth, we move some words around, add some inflection, analyze it until it has too much meaning, and then come up with a whole newly defined strategy with zero basis in its origin. And this is why I now choose to go underground and live with mole people in the NYC subway.
I kid. Unless, well, give me a week, I may sell all my shite on Craigslist and my sassy new chevron living room rug to Goodwill. [Friends, take note: I will need someone (I’m looking at you, Kelly) to remove my boxed wine from the fridge, someone (oh sister,Therese) to delete my Netflix Watch List because no one needs to see how often I watch Masterpiece Theatre and Battlestar Galactica, and only Alex is allowed to go through every piece of paper and discern who can read it. Please, no excitement, there’s nothing in the nightstands, I’m way too straight-laced – although suggestions can be sent via email or in the comments below].
Anyway, back to the point. When people show you who they are, don’t make excuses for them. Believe them. They’re telling you their truth.
The second quote that is in my apartment:
Oh. OHHHHH. This is a doozy. I need a moment.
Ok, I’m back. I’m going to make t-shirts with this sentence on it. I’m going to be THAT girl wearing THAT T-shirt: new goal announced. Yeah, June 2014! $12.99, get ’em here!
Seriously, though…I put people before me. Actually, let me rephrase that. I put the wrong people before me. I’ve had many well-meaning people (“You’re fantastic…you’re sensational…you’re one of a kind, BUT…”), and I have put more sensitivity and thought into what they want to eat for dinner than a cumulative thought as to what charities I’m donating to this year.
And now I want to take a butter knife and pull a Van Gogh. But at least, I’m being honest. I dare you to find someone more so.
I feel my online dating friends, the less successful ones than those that have met their literal match on Match, can understand this the most. And I am most guilty of this. We spend so much time thinking about the wrong people, mainly because we think they’re the right people, and shocker, they don’t deserve the amount of time and energy we’re spending on them. Truthfully, if I spent the same amount of time following my dream of being a writer, or putting my mind to curing homelessness in San Francisco, or creating a new cable company so that Comcast can go to cable hell….as I spend on thinking about guys who don’t deserve it….well, Bay Area, you’d all be getting HBO for free.
There are so many good people in the world. People who will and DO love us unconditionally, think we’re sexy, fantastic, awesome, witty, hilarious…the list goes on an on. And there’s no “BUT” following any of those statements. “But” negates everything said before that.
You just are sexy, fantastic, awesome, witty, hilarious.
What should follow is: “And I’m lucky to know you, and can’t wait to spend more time with you.” Find that person. The rest, we’re spending too much time on. Good….night.