It’s time I come out of my own dark closet. I’m tired of hiding who I really am and trying to pretend to be someone I’m not. On the door to my closet it has post it notes saying “fit in a box”, “don’t disappoint”, “make everyone else happy” and “This is acceptable behavior”.
It’s time I announce that I have no “box”, I’m not disappointed in who I am, I will never make everyone happy and the only definition of acceptable behavior for me is mine alone to define. So, here you go, I’m coming out of my closet.
I joined the military at age 18, and it was a perfect fit. I see things black and white or shall I say right and wrong. In the military there are rules and they keep it pretty simple. Follow the rules and you will do great. I’m a trusting person and so I typically trust that rules were made for a reason. I have been known to break some rules, but it never feels comfortable and always brings high anxiety. I’m sure I will live a shorter life than what was originally intended for me due to the anxiety of breaking rules and I’ll be honest I have been caught breaking rules on only a very few, limited occasions. I guess that makes me crafty as well. However, that never stops me from feeling the burden of the guilty conscience.
In the military you are taught to have each other’s “six”. Basic training teaches you to watch out for others. If you were amazing at folding underwear, you folded everyone’s underwear. You were never too proud to reach out and take care of someone else. This was never a hard concept for me to grasp. Under this skin of mine, I think I have battle armor on that was designed to take some bullets for other people. I have no idea why I value other people so much. I think the homeless man is just as valuable as the millionaire. The intrinsic value of each and every person is equal in my mind. I don’t worship the big movie stars and I think People magazines are a complete waste of time. I would rather spend my time in a retirement home hearing stories about life during World War II. I don’t care about your RV, the size of your house, or how much money you have in your retirement. I tend to care about the love that fills these things. What memories have you made in your RV and home? What dreams are you visualizing with your retirement account? Is your home filled with memories of the life you lived or is it sterile as a hospital? I will be more impressed by the home that may be tiny, but is filled with love that can be felt by any stranger. A mansion sterile of any love or character will feel like walking through Walmart on black Friday to me.
If I know you and love you, I will have your back. It will break my heart when yours is broken. I will be upset for days when I hear a friend is going through hell. Normally, not one to stand up for myself, I find myself unable to stand it when someone else is mistreated. I will likely say something to the person who is rolling her eyes at someone else and Heaven forbid you mess with my loved ones. I will hold a grudge forever if you mess with my people. I will try to forgive you, but trust me when I say that I will lose total respect for you if you think you are better than anyone else. I believe that only Jesus was perfect and know there isn’t anyone that can fill those shoes. The rest of us are just a bunch of messed up people trying to wade through this insane world. Consequently, I don’t hesitate to stand by a friend that has made a horrible mistake and support them as they walk through the nightmare they created.
Here’s the deal, if you don’t want someone who will defend you and walk through hell with you…I’m not your girl. If you don’t like me because I care too much and it makes you uncomfortable…I’m not your girl. If you want to keep walls up and I make you uncomfortable because I make you feel vulnerable…I’m not your girl.
Don’t expect me to ever worship anyone for their money, fame or fortune. That’s not me. Never invite me to a fancy dinner or party and expect me to look fashionable. I won’t. I’ll let you know that I appreciate that other people treasure what the celebs wear, but I don’t. Your fashion is not mine. I happen to go for comfort. Unless on very special occasions, expect me to be in jeans. That’s me and I promise I won’t be offended if you don’t invite me. Don’t expect me to put on a fake face for anyone of “high importance”. I will respect them as much as anyone else. Don’t expect me to laugh at shallow jokes or to laugh to make everyone else feel important. I won’t. If you see emotion coming out of me, you will know that it’s real. I cry and I laugh as much as possible. If my emotions make you uncomfortable, find a new friend.
Most importantly, if you are my friend I expect you to be loyal back. I don’t want to wonder what is being said behind my back. If you have a problem I expect you to tell me, not everyone else. If you have broken my trust, I will have walls up against you. What I confide in you will be minimal. If you know nothing about me, it’s probably because I don’t trust you. I’ll also give you this about me, I am not perfect. I make bad decisions. I try my hardest every day to do my best, but I fall short all the time. I say some things I wish I could take back every day. I pray daily that my words fell on your ears in the way I intended and not in the way it came out. I can be intense, focused and perfectionists in a way that may make you feel I am disappointed in you. Let me reassure you that it is hardly ever about you. It is most likely a feeling of inadequacy with myself. I am most likely talking myself off the ledge and trying to replace my negative thoughts with positive ones (I’m working on that).
I’m exhausted from trying to be someone else. Take it or leave it. Even if you leave it, you should definitely come out of your closet too. There’s no sense in us trying to be someone we aren’t. Define you and I’ll define me. It just so happens that opposites do attract.