The Freedom of Coming Home

There’s a moment when you come home and you undress out of whatever clothes you wore to be out in public. It feels like you’re shedding skin. Tearing away all the little bits of day that accumulated. Whether it was a good day or a bad day, you take it all off. You put on comfy clothes and you are in a safe place. You can feel the weight of the day lifting off of your shoulders and you become clean, new, in control.

I love that feeling.

I think that’s why I love being home so much. I’m free. I can be myself. I don’t have to put on a face anymore. I don’t have to pretend like everything is okay. If I want to throw things and cry uncontrollably, I can. If I want binge watch Mr. Robot while eating a family size bag of chips, I can. I am free. Of course sometimes the outside world leaks through the cracks. You start to think about your responsibilities. You start to think about your job, your friends, whatever drama is going on whether it involves you or it doesn’t, you start to think about your future, you start to think about your past. It does come through. Sliding in right before you close the front door. It hides in the corners as you be disgusting stuffing your face with junk food or mindlessly playing video games. It sometimes emerges and taps you on the shoulder. You try to shake it but sometimes you can’t.

But within these walls, you are safe to be whoever you want to be.

Honestly after an entire day of pretending to be happy when you’re dying inside, coming home to the four walls that surround you, hidden from the world, no longer pretending. You lay out all of your mistakes and shortcomings, your flaws and your insecurities. You set them free. You lay them out on the table, sort through them a little, watch them roll around in front of you. It doesn’t matter though. You can display all of these things and it won’t matter. No one is watching. No one can see. You are free.

I am free.

Sure, you’ll wake up tomorrow and have to do it all over again, smile when you don’t want to, laugh when things aren’t funny, put your mask back on, and say “I’m fine” when someone asks how you are doing. Sure, there are days when you are truly happy and having a great day and sure, there are days when everything is falling apart but you can’t show it. Sure, it becomes an endless cycle of redundancy. Sure.

But that moment when I am home, when I do shed all of the shit from the day, I remind myself that regardless of whatever is happening, in that moment, I am free.

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The Fear of Being “Too Loud”

I’m a little loud.

That might be an understatement.

I’m very loud.

I get it.

I have struggled with who I am as a person. I’ve been self-conscious and extremely critical of myself. But aren’t we all though?

Any way, one thing about me that bothers me is that I’m loud. I’m a very loud person. I can go on and on about how it’s a result of me never getting enough attention or my own sad past, or how I grew up being ignored all the way throughout my childhood, but I won’t. It’s a dark journey and we aren’t that close yet. Maybe after a few coffee dates or late night “why are we still up, let’s reveal our darkest secret” talks.

The bottom line is that I’m just a loud person. I talk loud, my laugh is thunderously loud and people have even called out that I clap really loudly.

I have become very self-conscious about how loud I am. Yeah, I even got self-conscious about my clapping. Like what kind of nonsense is that?

People have made fun of my laugh, my voice, my clapping to the point where I don’t want to laugh, speak or even clap anymore.

They shut me down and made fun of me about things that is out of my control like my race, sexuality, gender and that’s all dandy and fine (it’s not, stop it, I’m being sarcastic) but my voice, really? Is that really one more thing I need to add to my list of insecurities?

There’s a part of me that dies when people tell me that I’m being too loud. I pretend to own it and love it, but I don’t. I hate my laugh, I hate my voice, I even hate my clapping.

Isn’t that insane?

People have tried to silence me for so long. People told me to not laugh, not speak, not clap.

“Why are you being so loud?”
“Omg, your laugh is soooooo loud.”
“Why do you clap so loud? So obnoxious.”

Bitch, maybe I’m having a good time and I want to show it. What’s it to you? I’m sorry that your laugh doesn’t reverberate through the atmosphere and can be used as a beacon for aliens to hear because that joke Sharon told at the Christmas party was hilarious and you wanted to show it to her properly. I’m sorry that your clapping doesn’t crack the sound barrier because you aren’t happy enough to express your joy through smashing your hands together for maybe a show or an award your friend won or just pure unadulterated joy.

Society has morphed me into hating every part of myself, even my laugh. Maybe it is my fault for letting people get to me, but how can you not? It’s not easy to just brush off criticism from people that are supposedly important to you. It hurts, and you start to hate yourself.

You start to laugh less, speak less and just stop being yourself as a whole.

You stop yourself when you’re laughing or talking. You start to think that your words are worthless and not worth hearing. You start to think that maybe you shouldn’t express joy or happiness. You start to not get too excited about things that have always excited you in the fear of being “too loud.” You start to shut down. You slowly rebuild the wall that you let down because you thought you could trust these people. You start to realize how crazy you that you need to let down your guard to be happy. You can’t laugh normally. You can’t speak properly. You shut down the windows, close the blinds, and turn off all the lights. Your eyes go dull and your voice breaks. You shove it so deep within yourself, you start to become deaf to it until you’ve completely forgotten your voice again. It’s dark and scary but you tough it out because you don’t want to be a nuisance.

But that’s total shit.

So yeah, I’ve been told my entire life to shut up.

Well, fuck you.

Because I’m not shutting up.

Because my words are all I have.

And I can be louder.

So don’t test me.

From Time to Time

The feeling of inadequacy has been a reoccurring theme in my life.

It digs its nails into my skin until it draws blood. It haunts me at night, whispering mindless nonsense into my ears. It crawls into bed with me and makes itself comfortable within my bones. It buries its head in my bosom and asks for one more bedtime story. It wakes me in the middle of the night, shaking me awake, leaving me restless and worn out.

The constant feeling of never being enough taps on my window sills like rain in the middle of a storm. It becomes routine. I now live in a constant state of questioning whether I’m doing the right thing or not, a constant state of wondering if I’m a failure, if I’m even worth anyone’s time.

Every critique of my character becomes categorized in a library of passing comments I’ve created inside my mind.

Every mistake I’ve made neatly piles up in the corner of my room, filling up the walls and towering over me as I sleep. I am only awoken by the crumbling reminders that fell on top of me in the middle of the night.

I lay awake at night, staring at the ceiling, until my eyes adjust to the darkness and I see the shadows of my insecurities drifting about my room, dancing between the piles of my mistakes, swaying to the sound of the tapping on the windows, steadily moving to the beat of my weary heart.

It’s a heavy and draining life to live. It’s exhausting and after a while, I lose little bits of hope as it falls off of me like the deteriorating paint job on the walls of abandoned houses.

But from time to time, I will take up the paint brush and paint over the broken pieces. I’ll put on several coats until you can no longer see the concrete.

From time to time, I’ll wake up to the dancing of my mistakes and insecurities and I’ll learn to lead. I’ll take them all by the waist and create my own beat.

From time to time, I’ll clear my room, I’ll dust the corners and I’ll neatly categorize all of my faults into shelves of past tense.

From time to time, I refuse to tell them another bedtime story, I bandage my wounds, and I hold them close to my heart and soothe them to sleep.

From time to time, I become better than my own thoughts. I tell myself that I will not take anymore of this and I learn to smooth out the wrinkles of my own heart.

From time to time, I use these as reminders that I’m still worth living.

You Could Do Better.

I am made up of failures,
Mistakes,
Faults,
and flaws.

I am built on disapproval,
judgement,
fear,
and inadequacies.

I have lived my life on cracked foundation,
made from melting ice sheets,
I have built my life on rotting wood,
on fragile china.

I have bled on pages and pages of
self-deprecating moments,
over exaggerated comments,
and silent disapprovals.

I remain bleeding,
as I slowly break my bones
Hoping that I am bent into the shapes
Everyone else approves of.

I have erased myself from mirrors,
Painted pictures of nonsensical images,
of things people approve of.

I can’t remember what I used to look like.
I trace the outlines of my being
and it feels foreign to me.

I sold myself to the lowest bidder.
I used people’s approval as currency
In hopes to buy myself back.
But nothing I do seems to amount to the cost
Of a real human soul.

So I exist,
In my own emptiness,
I hear the hollowness,
Echoing sounds of “you could do better.”