I spend part of my weekend creating art galleries for my website. Eventually, I want this website to be a portfolio of my drawing and writing, and maybe even my crafting. I’ve created a LOT of stuff. I have definitely drawn more than I’ve written, but I have some good stuff that I can share. I’m nervous about putting this stuff out there, but it’s not like I can’t create more, right?
I think that this is a good analogy for how I walk through the world. After my mom died, I realized that I had spent so much of my life closed up, keeping all of the good stuff in, worried that that tiny spark of innocence and goodness in me would be tainted or even snuffed out if I shared it with the wrong person.
I also realized that in keeping it protected, trying to seem tougher than I was, trying to act like there was nothing good in me — first of all, didn’t fool anyone. But more importantly, if I didn’t show my kindness and empathy to the people I knew, what set me apart from actually unkind and unempathetic people?
Yes, intention is important. I often think that it’s the only thing in this world that we actually own. But action is important, too. And if I acted like an uncaring asshole, then I was one, at least to the people I acted like that toward. So, I decided to open up, to let people see my goodness. It’s still a struggle, but I’d say that I’ve gotten better at being more open and genuine with people over the past seven years.
I think that, too, I had to realize that acting like a good person wasn’t actually an act. I never wanted to trick anyone into thinking that I am better than I am. I am not anywhere close to a perfect person, and in terms of bad and good, I think I’m about 10% awful, 10% amazing, and 80% something in between. Just like everyone else in the world. (Except for Joel. He’s just a straight-up piece of shit.)