I’m waiting to be ripped apart.
Because that’s what happens to people who are seen and put themselves out there. They get ripped apart.
Part of the reason I don’t like to share myself or my work is because I choose to hide behind perfectionism. And the other reason is because I’m terrified of being ripped apart.
There’s no shortage of mean spirited words being tossed around like beads at Mardi Gras. Just flung around. And I don’t mean just political talk. I mean all sorts of talk about all sorts of things. About seemingly innocuous things that everyone has something to say about. And they say it meanly.
So I’m waiting to be ripped apart.
I’m wondering what it will feel like, to be eviscerated. I see it happen to people every day in YouTube comments, under Instagram pictures, Huffington Post articles. It’s like there’s so much meanness people feel deep inside that they must discharge it.
And it’s not just online. It’s in person, too. Ugliness, exclusion. It makes me scared to be myself or stand for something, lest I be talked about behind my back.
But, then again, so what?
If I don’t like what I see, I have two choices. Stay small and quiet. Or be our there and speak up for kindness.
I’m passionate about community and creativity and connection. Those things require being seen and sharing with other people. And, possibly, being torn apart.
Well. I’ve been torn apart before. In elementary school when I found out that a group of girls wrote about me in a SLAM book. On the eighth grade bus where a cadre of boys called me fat and chanted “fat-so, fat-so, fat-so” all the way home while I hid my face in my backpack and cried. In college where I thought girls were my friends and then went out without me, behind my back.
And it taught me that I never want to be like that. I don’t want people to feel hurt. I never want to push myself up at the expense of others. I want to assume everyone is doing their best.
So it’s okay. It might happen. Or it might not. Maybe I’ll cry. Or maybe I won’t care. But I’ll keep showing up.