After stumbling across the Facebook post that inspired Days Like Today, I did in fact clean up the kitchen, start laundry, make my bed and put away laundry, and then write out an article. Then it was time to get ready for work.
It was quiet today, but I felt hectic. . . if that makes sense. I was in a good mood but in a bad mood, simultaneously. It was a good thing that I had minimal human interaction today. I did get some shit accomplished at work though, in an effort to stay distracted from my feeling so . . . weird.
I had an appointment today with my doctor to discuss me trying to quit smoking again. If you remember, I tried to quit in November. But November was the beginning of all of this roller coaster change, and so I failed miserably. It was no one’s fault but my own, don’t misunderstand. I just wasn’t in the frame of mind to actually quit, I suppose. I took the first excuse to not quit and ran with it.
The roller coaster is still very active, but I know that if I want to actually knock this thing off of my list of things I want to accomplish in this lifetime, I need to stop looking for excuses not to do it.
So, let me apologize in advance for anything I may do or say over the course of the next couple of months as I navigate through this next obstacle.
With the doctor’s appointment accomplished, I ran to the grocery store to get some things I had forgotten to pick up for dinners this week, and stopped at the pharmacy for Matt’s allergy medicine. The line was forever, so I decided to try that again tomorrow and headed home.
I’ve been thinking about today’s quote post since I saw it this weekend when prepping the quote post photos for Facebook. I knew what I was going to write about as soon as I saw it, and have been playing with words in my head as I went through my day.
“I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
I had to think a quick second about it, because the obvious meaning of solitude is to be alone. Which, I mean, that could make sense too. If someone wants to be left alone, you probably should do that.
The wheels turned quick though, and the light bulb went off.
You should let another person be completely themselves.
It’s taken me a long time to realize some of the situations I have been in, and some of the situations that I have put myself into. I was expected to be different from who I actually am, and thus thought that I needed to change to fit in and to be loved. I was expected to fit molds that weren’t mine to fit into, and in turn I thought that’s just how things worked – you need to change to fit someone else’s mold. I got validation from conforming to other people’s ideas of who and what I should be.
Yeah. . . no. That’s not how that works.
It took me a lot of time to figure out the truth.
That you make your own mold. That you validate your damn self by being your damn self.
I don’t need someone to tell me that I am a good writer – I feel it as I type the words, I feel the words singing in my blood and I know. I know when I cry as I write that I’m gonna make someone do some heavy thinking with my words. I know when I feel giddy from the words that pour out of my mind and to my fingers and through the keyboard to the laptop screen that it’s going to reach someone, somewhere, and they are going to get something from it.
It’s nice to see the numbers going up and up and up. . . but I felt just as good about my words before the numbers started climbing this past spring and through the summer. I didn’t need the numbers to tell me that I’m good at this art. All that is honestly is the extra promoting I’ve been doing, it really has nothing to do with how good I am or am not. I’m sure that since I’ve been writing more and have been expanding the types of writing that I’m doing, I’m getting better at this whole writing thing. We all have room for improvement. But . . .
But I didn’t need the numbers going up to tell me that what I did was good.
Just like I don’t need anyone to tell me I have a nice smile, or that I’m a nice person or good at my job or a good mother . . . it’s nice to hear, don’t misunderstand me. But I don’t need it to make myself feel worthwhile and validated.
This all sounds a little bit on the cocky side. . . but honestly, what’s wrong with a little bit of confidence? The world is full of unrealistic expectations. In order to make your way through it, you need to be confident in who you are as a person, without someone else having to tell you.
My point is, that you should be yourself, always. It took me many attempts of trying to live up to other peoples expectations, it took many times of me trying to fit into molds that weren’t mine to fit into. It took a lot of criticism for me to realize. . . ya know what? Fuck ’em. I can’t fit their mold, so why should I try? Why don’t I just go on and make my own fucking mold?
And this, my friends, brings me to how the quote ties into all of this.
You should let someone be wholly themselves.
Don’t try and make someone else fit your mold.
And if you can’t? If you want someone to be something other than they are?
You have zero business being in that person’s life.
And if you feel pressure to fit into someone else’s mold?
Yeah, you probably need to walk away from that situation. You probably need to do some soul searching and figure out who you are, and realize that you are fantastic on your own.
You can’t successfully love someone else when you don’t love yourself.
And so. . .
So, when you find yourself in a relationship where you can be absolutely unequivocally yourself, that’s the one you hang onto. If you find someone who loves who you are, as you are. . . when you don’t feel like you are a disappointment in every move you make, when they love you on your good days and on your bad days, when they don’t take every bad mood you have personal. . . That’s it.
When we form a bond with another person, our job is to make sure they know that they are free to be themselves. That there is no mold for them to fit but their own. It is our job to protect the person they are, not try to form them into the person we want them to be.
It’s taken me years and years to learn this concept. Years of trying to fit molds that weren’t mine to fit into.
The only mold I need to fit is my own. The only person I need to impress is myself. The only person I have to answer to at the end of the day is myself.
I come back to yesterday’s post – if I feel like I did something to improve myself, and if I feel like I did something to improve the world we live in, then it was a good day. I am happy with myself.
And it will be a cold day in hell before I let someone else tell me that I am not enough, or that I am too much.
Maybe for you, buddy.
I’m one hundred and ten percent good with who I am and who I am becoming.
And the person that accepts that, and accepts me – all of me, the flaws and the good things, I mean all of me – is the person that will be able to hang. The person who won’t run when things aren’t the fairy tale they imagined.
I am not a fairy tale. I don’t fit anyone’s mold but my own. I will break your mold before I try to perform some contortionist shit to try and fit your idea of who and what I should be.
And you shouldn’t expect this utter impossible feat from anyone, nor should you try to accomplish this impossible feat yourself.
Be yourself, and let others be themselves, too.
That is the most important gift we can give to ourselves, and that we can give to someone else.