sometimes i think the absolute hardest thing in the world to do is to be yourself. to walk around with palms help upward rather than facing outward, away from the body. there are moments when you might be walking around, content, and then someone close to you will find something out about you they didn't know and all of a sudden you are somehow no longer the person they thought they knew and you don't fit into the story they are trying to tell. i am watching this happen in my own life right now. people i love being forced outside the lines because their colors don't fit the landscape. i hold hands with those closest to me and close my eyes because i know, for a fact, that every color that exists is a part of the whole. it doesn't make it any easier, but at least we know who we are. we are the ones who will accept you for who you are.
i met a woman at ikea yesterday. i was walking around with the baby, killing time while my daughter played in the children's play area (because she absolutely loves that place) and as i was strolling through the small storage container section, i noticed this adorable pregnant woman with cutoff jean shorts and a shirt tied in a knot at her belly button. she was fit and healthy looking and for some reason i just blurted out 'you are ADORABLE' because i couldn't help myself. because she was. i remember how abnormal i felt during pregnancy. how sometimes the idea of growing a human in my body felt so incredibly unnatural that it was all i could do to run daily errands and pretend everything was normal without losing my mind. because, really, this idea that my body was responsible for housing the single most important thing in my life was a freakishly terrifying prospect. especially in those months before the baby kicked. once i felt the movement, it all seemed to make sense. in a backwards sort of way. this woman? at ikea? we ended up talking for about 15 minutes, standing among swedish design components. we exchanged phone numbers and i couldn't help but think that i was so close to just walking by her, thinking about how wonderful she looked and wondering what other's perceptions were of me at the time i was pregnant. but i blurted. and so we spoke. and now i might have made a friend. maybe not. maybe that will be the extent of our connection. but the fact remains, there was a connection made to another human being at that time. that little thread of camaraderie that happens between people who share an experience. and i have that little envelope of a memory of me just plain being myself without any reservations and i felt good. i felt connected to the rest of the people walking around me after that. i looked at them and realized we all have our stories, we all have our mornings that happened before we ended up at ikea. we all have the ways in which we cope. and we all have the aching desire to be accepted for who we are. i mean, don't we?
i have moments when i think there is no way in the world i am going to survive this life. there is too much beauty. too much pain. too many times when the other humans i am bumping around with are going to find something out about me and decide nope. don't like that. discard. i think i am going to have to deal with someone rejecting my children at some point in their life simply because of who they are and i have to figure out how to navigate that. because there are times, like when the douchebag in the hummer yelled at me in the parking lot because his monstrosity of a car wouldn't fit next to mine and i didn't have the foresight to pull to the side so he could pass first. there are times when someone will look at you with anger and hatred and all of the bad days in their life shadowing their eyes like a visor and simply being yourself will not be enough. i have to teach them to place those moments next to moments of rows of flowers and look at them at the same time and say to themselves this. this is my life. all of it. the hummers and the flowers and the small storage and the play areas. i have to teach them how to hold all of it in the palms of their hands and still walk around with a smile on their faces.
or maybe i have it all wrong.
maybe they are teaching me.