I love writing. I know that’s a big shock. Blogging is my splurge. When I first began my blog, I had a focused purpose and a clear audience in mind. I wanted to reach out to the people in this world who feel the same way I do and let them know that there is hope. But I lost sight of that purpose, and this is my apology.
I began this blog as a way to express my humanity. I think we all can relate to feeling guilty for not measuring up to expectations. In my case, this guilt came because of a painful breakup. Although I knew that I wasn’t perfect, I finally had to admit that nothing I did could make Fishie choose to look past my faults and love me. I wasn’t good enough. I’ve lost track of how long it’s been since I last spoke with him. But no matter how much time passes, I know the pain will never completely fade because the pain is rooted in my failure.
In order to cope with my guilt, I began to glory in my humanity. I became proud of my faults. I guess in one sense you could pass that pride off as biblical. Didn’t the apostle Paul say that he gloried in his infirmities? And for a while, I suppose I was learning a valuable trait–the importance of being transparent and real. But that transparence is only as good as its desire to grow and change.
I think everyone will agree with me that it’s hard to live with perfection. While nobody would claim to be perfect in so many words, at least I don’t think anyone would, many people do seem to think they have the right of way, metaphorically speaking. I am not the kind of person who shies away from learning new skills. This summer I began running for the first time. If someone (preferably somebody Tall, Dark, Handsome, and British) wanted to teach me how to play baseball, soccer, tennis, hockey, football, golf, or any other sport, I would have no problem letting him teach me how to throw a ball or how to dribble because I know that I need help. But if I am baking banana bread in my kitchen, I do not want and will struggle to accept anyone’s assistance because I have been baking all sorts of munchies since the age of thirteen. I may not be the greatest cheese grater or the most fabulous roller of the rolling pin, but I know my way around a kitchen. If I want help, I will ask for it. I will say, “Where is the cream of tartar?” or “Can you look at the recipe and tell me if I need one teaspoon or one tablespoon of salt?” But unless I say, “Please put the pepperoni on the pizza,” I don’t want anyone rearranging my pepperoni.
I confess that when people express their own opinions about my method of living, I get angry. I can’t help but think of an episode of The Cosby Show in which Denise brings her boyfriend David over to the house. Cliff Huxtable tells his wife that the boy is “an arrogant twilight zone.” If I were to invite a vegetarian to my apartment, I can imagine two possible conversation scenarios when I serve him steak. The guest says, “I’m sorry. I’m a vegetarian.” And I would respond kindly, “Really. What made you decide to be a vegetarian?” This conversation is nice and somewhat civilized. I am willing to show interest in my guest’s choices. But if the guest says, “I can’t believe you’re eating steak. Don’t you know that many diseases are related to the consumption of meat?” I would probably respond with something much more unpleasant than Cliff’s “Mrs. Huxtable and I love to live dangerously.”
I began this blog, not to point my finger at the people who judge me, but to keep my finger from pointing at myself all the time. Somewhere along the way, I failed . . . again. I have been angry at the people who assume my kindness in based in manipulation. I have been angry with people who think my workout regimen is based in obsession. I have been angry with people who are always telling me why their way is better than mine. And I have become proud that I don’t manipulate; in fact I say exactly what I mean to say when I shouldn’t. I have become proud that I workout to be healthy and not to achieve a certain weight or body type. I have become proud that I never tell people that they are boiling water incorrectly; I never tell them that I’m better than they are.
But I think it. I think it every time someone tells me I brushed my teeth the wrong way. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry for pointing my finger at you. I’m sorry for judging you. My hope is that now I can truly move on from the sin that has enslaved me. “In all things it is better to hope than to despair.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe