“You don’t have to try so hard,” he said to me as I responded to his text message the only way I knew how. The only way I wanted to. With empathy. “You sound like you’re reciting lines out of one of your books.” The words he wrote took me back. They stung. I read and reread the text a few times. First because it didn’t sound like him, and secondly because I was being honest and I was being sincere. "This isn't about you," I said to myself. So I took his words as information. I generally meant what I said when I said that I was sorry that he was having a bad time at his concert and that it must be annoying to drive all that way and have a crappy time. I know how he feels, because I have been there too.
Change is hard.
We’re speaking in sentences now. Real sentences with meaning behind them. Not two word sentences that say ‘I care but I don’t have time to write a real response.” I am giving him feedback because I believe that feedback is what he needs. But it feels awkward to him. Uncomfortable, foreign. Maybe that is why he believes that my words are calculated. I have been working on myself. I have been reading more on how to be a better person. Not a wife, not a mother, just a better human. And part of being a better human is being honest. With myself and everyone around me. Being true. Being real. No fronts or mask just me. And the me that lives inside she cares. She cares a lot.
But the world has made me believe that caring is not something that people want. They want easy fixes and simple responses. The world is quick and fast and it doesn’t have time for all your feelings and caring and love. It is all a lie. People need you feelings -- my feeling. People need your caring -- my caring and people need love. It might feel awkward at first to be vulnerable or to accept someone being vulnerable.. It might feel foreign. Or fake. But when people are being true and people are being real they are showing their empathy. They are going thought the hard stuff with you. They aren’t just sending out a generic “that sucks” and going on their way. The ones that get it are the ones who are saying, maybe even whispering, “me too.”
Transformation when you don’t exactly know what you’re transforming into is even harder.
I can feel it happening. Its been bubbling up inside me for awhile. Things are shifting and moving around. I feel different but if I concentrate on it for too long the feeling fades, like when you stare at the sun for too long and your eye get those squiggly lines. If you go trying to look for it, they jump and move around. Its only when you’re not focusing on it can you really see it.
That is me. When I try to focus on myself and this transformation I am blinded by the sun. My perfectionism is in high alert and I begin to pick apart everything that has happen that has led me here to this moment. I need to find a way to sit with it and be still but I don’t think I am there yet. So I am here, writing trying to make sense of this person I am becoming. Or unbecoming, I am not sure yet. All I know now is that I feel the need to show empathy. To share the moments with others to make them feel less alone. Or to maybe even make myself feel less alone.