A PanAfricanist Queer Womanist Collective
I say the wrong things sometimes – granted – and I do the wrong things at other times too. Thing is with all my ‘saying and doing’ I usually don’t hurt anyone other than myself. I don’t know how I can want the best for people but continue to hurt those I deem close, regardless of whether that hurt is based on their rational or irrational perceptions.
Somehow I think that is the essence of selfishness; all good intentions, well-reasoned thought and none of the empathy that comes with knowing that nobody is perfect and that we all deserve to be cared for ‘ flaws and all’.
I care for people like that, but only sometimes. When I feel myself hollowing out with wanting and need because I am craving something outside of myself. As soon as contentment hits I find myself asking why I am there in the first place. It always runs through my head that there is more adventure in life than this, always. That one day I am going to terminate and that if I die having sacrificed chunks of myself on the alter of somebody else’s insecurities, I would have failed to live.
Life is strange in the ways it promises both newness and death isn’t it?
In the same way I resent shifting personal tragedies (of the kind that we make ourselves) onto others. I hate shifting blame. It’s all one and the same thing; an exercise in self-pity. So I try to live a life where I don’t do much of either- in public at least. But in private I cry a lot. I’ll show you who you need to see and say what you need to hear; all in carefully constructed ‘blunt statements’. Some would call it ‘poised’ but wiser people will call it calculated.
The problem with this dance is that people get comfortable and open and honest, you know? Then when you no longer wish to open and unfold them (because life has become wonderful in other ways) they get hurt. It is not blameless hurt, it is hurt because you’ve conditioned them to feel in particular ways around you, just because you were curious and genuinely cared when you did (and probably still do)
…but now, well now you are back to the business of living for yourself.
It really is easier that way when childhood conditioned you through rejection and disappointment; you un-learned trust at the core of your being and had to be selfish to make anything of yourself. The sad part about this is that it makes you immune to love.
Funnily enough it’s easy to cloak this state in words like ‘freedom’, ‘adventure’ and ‘fickleness’ but really it is core loneliness. You don’t know how to be close to people. Intimacy is the thing you crave the most but it is also the first thing you will destroy when you see it.
How sad it is to have so much space between you and other people that you can always be objective when you look at them? That you are able to convince yourself that you can understand them with a cool and clear detachment- even when every part of you is unnerved by their intrusion into your space. I honestly can’t decide which is worse but I do know that I am tired of hurting people inadvertently. Maybe that has to do with learning how to appreciate their irrationality and sacrifice some things for them- I think that’s what they call kindness. Maybe I have been lying to myself because I am afraid of all the hurt it can let in.
Surely though it can’t be that bad to be kind? Surely? We can’t always wait for tomorrow to be kind though can we?
So maybe, just maybe, I’ll start now.