I finally started driving for UBER with my friend’s car as a desperately-needed way to make money before heading to Burning Man and back to Thailand at the end of the summer. With my love of people, SF and freedom of schedule, it seemed like a great fit. That was, it did until day three when I rear-ended someone on one of SF’s notoriously steep hills.
Ever notice that movies start and end at peaks in life? What if that happened somewhere in the middle instead? Like oh, I don’t know, when you’re desperate to come up with quite a bit of dough within a limited amount of time, and after months of working your tail off to find the right remote gig, you finally settle on temporary side work that ends up costing you even more and puts a friend out.
Real life doesn’t provide a whole lot of ‘happily ever after’. Realistically, it’s more of a ‘happily for a few months’ with varying coping skills and scenarios that set the more balanced norm in which we live. Most of us find our identity somewhere in the middle. As time goes on, I accept myself more as a whole instead of just focusing on the bad, but also become more aware of how much I want to be a woman I can be proud of during the hard times. The current struggles mentioned above being the most recent reminder of that. That and my reaction to the actions of people I was at one time, not too long ago, close with.
Just like the ups and downs of life, we’re all heroes and villains. It just depends on when we’re caught. While almost always showing up with a smile on my face and exuding a warm and entertaining energy, that larger-than-life side of me comes from being triggered by a love of people and the way I react to it more than some wholesome and spiritual pool of love and light. I am constantly shooting for that kind of positivity, and it really is an authentic part of my ‘hero’ side, but it certainly doesn’t hint at the equally powerful and brooding ‘villain’ within. Neither does seeing the big picture of my adventures, travels, volunteerism and fabulousness from ten-thousand feet without jumping into the free fall of becoming a part of my life and all it’s gory details.
One of the worst sides of me comes from the same place as one of the best. That starts in strength with people because of abilities as an empath. I can feel what others are feeling more than average and see details of who they are in a way that most can’t. When opening up that ability to someone with warmth, a smile and the eye contact that pulls in that connection, it almost always brings instant healing, happiness and a feeling of closeness. What it also brings in a level of intimacy in which to cut the people down who hurt me, which usually ends up being those closest to me.
We all hurt each other eventually. That I know. We’re human after all, and as such, should do our best to catch moments of judgment as well as making an effort to love others so completely that they are unaware of their shortcomings and things they do that hurt others if not being addressed in an empowering, accepting and supportive way. I’m good at that. In those small windows that I lose it, it’s usually when something has happened that has made me especially weak, hurt, scared and feeling out of control. That final drop in the well of something my loved one has done causes every hurtful thing they in the past to rupture into all the emotion I had been holding back, and often was unaware of. With that, my wrath comes explodes into a buildup of pain and vengeance that could easily compete with the villains we were raised to despise.
Icy, matter of fact and straight to the point when dealing with that person who has wounded me, I unleash all the poison that has unknowingly built about every immoral and weak trait of their character as well as all the ways they’ve been terrible in our relationship. It is so matter-of-fact and so pure in it’s simplicity, I not only come at them with the way I see them but the way I know they see themselves. Often so over-inflated with the comfort and confidence I have helped them build, friends in these situations have repeatedly and openly focused on my flaws and been so foolish as to think I’m not aware when talking about me to others. In those moments of passive-aggressiveness of finally biting back, it feels good to break them. To humble and hurt them the way they’ve hurt me. That’s the worst thing I do, and it’s hard to not hate myself for it. Especially ironic because I am so acutely aware of my shortcomings.
When going through hard times, I also cope by becoming a messy drunk, wild sex, comfort food and working out to the point of hurting myself. I take too many risks that result in disaster, often don’t have a penny to my name while spending manically when I do, act out like a crazy person on social media and become a hot-mess physically. As an amazon of a woman, I can even be physically scary when my rage is ignited, though rare.
But there is also so much good in me in those same ways. The ability to see those details and depth in others gives me the chance to love them in a way that is usually only experienced a couple of times in life. I have a kindness and need to help others that allows the those around me to bloom, grow, heal and find their own strength and adventure. Being a part of my adventures helps to bring back that childhood magic and dreams most have long-since become too scared to continue believing in.
The yin and yang of life. That thing called karma. For my big personality, that means the higher the highs, the lower the lows. Case-in-point, running away from awesome well-paying jobs while living off my family and friends for the summer and doing ego-killing side work in order to craw with bloody fingers toward my dreams of writing and living around the world. I am often insecure, distracted and brooding toward those around when they manage finally get me to come out of hiding. Depression takes hold of me even though I know that this is the cost of what I want. I often ask myself how I can deserve such things if acting as so. I want to be someone who can proudly tell the story of the trials it took once getting to these amazing my destination. To be a good influence. To be someone I am proud of and can love, even in my darkest and weakest times.
Those happily-ever-after moments that have been programmed give us a sigh of relief and resolution in the rare moments we find them, but also create an unrealistic idea of how to view ourselves or life. Maybe if the stories around us show how to view, cope with and change the things we want to, both about ourselves and about others, we will know better where to find salvation. Seeing the story of others from the challenging time to next challenging time with the peaks only being in the middle could very well be a way to help do t hat.
I want to see how all of you keep your faith and grace. I am showing you the monster I have inside. Now show me yours. Then show me how you continue to be a hero and see the beauty in the payment of life as a part of that. Especially when feeling completely drained and so lost in your path that you barely remember your destination. This is what I want to see. This is a raw part of my story, but I only tell it because I so desperately need yours. Find it and share with me.