I was angry when I wrote this
Forgive me if it goes astray… 😉
Thank you for showing me what your face actually looks like when you peel back the skin – the carefully applied camouflage and strategic shading revealing something burnt and diseased and decayed, the fascia tearing like a bandage being ripped from an oozing, sucking wound. Thank you for making me wonder if everyone whose voice is as soothing and measured as yours looks like that beneath the façade.
Thank you for reminding me that among the best people I know lurk the worst: empty people who preach solidarity and acceptance but practice triangulation and subterfuge, hypocrisy and a confounding duality of self-absorption and utter lack of self-awareness. You might have been beautiful once, but what remains is a malformed symphony of broken strings and sharps played as flats, that lurches along in spite of itself, for itself, that can’t hear itself.
Your past, your circumstances, your wounds – they do not define you. Your actions do. I would never hold you accountable for the actions of others – only for your own. Always for your own. While admirers continue to be fooled by the performance, know that I know.
Thank you for showing me the cracks in my armor. Thank you for making me wary of anyone who is hailed as authentic, anyone who seems to be compassionate, or anyone who has scars. Thank you for being deceptive enough for me to doubt the integrity of those who don’t deserve it, who are the antithesis of you.
Thank you. But no thank you.
I can do better.
I can try not to confuse fear with respect, sycophancy with loyalty or vendettas with accountability.
I can know the difference between a tribe and a mob.
I can think for myself. I can reason instead of rage. I can let go of anyone who can’t be bothered to listen to the story before they write the ending.
Thank you for giving me a mirror that reflects my own shortcomings, to better see the indirect consequence of my thoughtless actions, and to find a way to do better.
You can continue to seek and exploit in others that which you do not have, to circle and feint and project your damaged reflection all around me to remind me that you are there. I will continue to step aside with a smile to let you by.
You don’t know me at all.
There will always be those who will sacrifice integrity for approval and inclusion. Thank you for showing me who cowers in your shadow.
There are others, people who are flawed but genuine, who want to leave this place better than they found it. Who help and guide without expecting to collect a debt. Who understand that there is enough ugly in the world, enough hate, without their contribution to the chaos.
I may not always be on the side of right but I will not stand with you. I may not sing as loud but I do have a voice.
You can spend your life drawing attention to the flaws in others to distract them from yours, or you can spend it trying to fix what is broken in you.
You have so much to offer, and this is what you chose.
I can do better.
Thank you for showing me what I never want to be.