L tells me a lot. Sometimes, much more than I want to know. I couldn’t imagine discussing the things she talks to me about with my own mother. That’s not her fault. She’s from a different era. You didn’t talk about sex or periods or salary or the realities of parenting/marriage. You just stuffed it all down, sucked it all up, and held it all in.
L holds little in. I don’t hate it. I like knowing what’s going on. (You can take the reporter out of the newsroom, but…). I like to think I can help provide some perspective and/or wisdom. I see things from a different vantage point. Though, there are times I’ve gotten uncomfortable enough to be like, you know, you have older girl cousins, maybe ask them about that. Or Google.
When I was in college, I was scared most of the first couple years, desperately afraid to fail and sure I was in over my head. All the way to the end, I wasn’t confident in which direction to go. But, my parents would’ve been the last ones I’d have asked for help. Back then, when your mom called the landline that you shared with your dorm roomie, you whispered: Tell her I’m at the computer lab.
One year out of college, working in my major (Public Relations), I realized I hated that field. I liked the place I worked, I just didn’t like P.R. I don’t have the personality for it. I have little tolerance for fake people and even less for faking stuff myself. I have a hard time hiding how I feel about something or someone. I don’t consider that a weakness. I actually think authenticity is a huge strength (few can be vulnerable enough to be real), but….it’s a major problem in P.R. where B.S. is the primary language and appearances ALWAYS matter.
I didn’t tell anyone I hated my chosen field or that I had no idea what to do next or that I was afraid I’d just wasted four years of college and tens of thousands of dollars. I just knew I had to get out, so I took an entry-level position at the newspaper, delivering ad proofs to customers. It was a terrible job, but at least it was real. I didn’t have to fake shit day in and day out.
I like the truth. I like authenticity. I like imperfection. I like flaws. I like vulnerability–mine and yours. Anything less bores me or irritates me. Not with everyone, of course. I feel less and less like sharing anything with anyone via social media anymore — talk about inauthentic bullshit, it doesn’t get much more worse than social media.
But with the people in my real life, those tough questions, complicated problems, and honest conversations are what I live for. They keep me grounded. They make me feel like I’m not alone. They recharge me. Sometimes they also keep me up at night, but I suppose that’s the price of loving and living in the real world.
About Just Write: Just Write is my adaptation of free writing, a technique in which a person writes continuously and quickly without little regard for spelling, grammar, or topic. It helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and explore everything from meaningful topics to mundane observations with the same effort and without the pressure of crafting perfect prose. I just start writing.