Today, someone I never met took his own life in front of his neighborhood church. Today I looked at all he presented himself to be online, a helpful, wonderful, productive citizen – and I would have never guessed he would ever have wanted to take anyone’s life, much less his own. Every piece of his online persona was so warm and wonderful. Today people that knew him are grieving, and baffled, and angry, and my heart hurts for them.
Today I think of the community I have grown to know online, and all of the wonderful people I have come to recognize as friends, their lives pixelated across my computer screen, their carefully crafted thoughts and words working their way through the word wide web onto my mobile phone, I read about how they want to be seen and how they see others, all from the park bench where I sit and watch my children play tag, where I watch them learn to play fair.
We are not playing fair.
We are so mindful of telling others how great they are, we are just so good at it, but we forget to recognize we are also human, fallible, broken… and we need to say and hear these kinds of things too. These things are what make us approachable, they are the traits that foster connection, and make it easy for us to relate to one another. Without this kind of honest dialogue, we box ourselves and others into personas that are hard to maintain and hard to break out of… we play an unfair game of make believe where nobody wins, and somebody ends up killing themselves on a beautiful Sunday morning, somebody I don’t know, somebody I’ll never ever ever ever have the chance to get to know.
I hope you are ok with showing the realness of you, the combination of your rawness and your rawr, and while I don’t mind celebrating all the good things you present yourself to be, I want to celebrate you more, I’m ok with the dirt under your fingernails, and the fact that your bed’s not made. I love you, I love your mind, even the dark places, the awful places, the places that scare me shitless, I love those too, because they are you, they are part of the reason I reach out into the world every morning and try to make a connection. I don’t want to miss it, I don’t want to miss the connection between the you that you present yourself to be and the you you really are.
Every Last Fucked Up One of You
So, motherfuckers, sweet sweet angels of imperfection, on this Sunday, a day I am grieving for a man I never met, I am also singing you a love song, an out of key melody with rusty rhythm, mud in the middle, and dirty words at the end. In case I don’t tell you enough, I love you, in my way, every last fucked up one of you, I’m into your gritty truth, I’m into your greatness. So I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me for not high fiving you and telling you how awesome you are all the time. You are not awesome, and I like you that way.