“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.”
-Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957)
One of the things that lights my soul up and ignites my creativity more than anything is attending the theater. I have seen countless fantastic productions, and traveled throughout 3 countries (and counting) to attend shows. One of the things I’ve noticed is that from Shakespeare to the hottest new musical, I always find myself connected to the character’s stories. Their fear, anger, frustration, heartbreak, joy, triumphs, and love stories. Why is this? Because the human condition is timeless.
Every time I have this realization, it makes me feel even more connected to other humans. It allows me to remember that we are really all so much more alike than different, and that we always have been. I feel my heart filled with warmth, longing to talk to others; to know and understand the deepest inner working of their minds. Then I sign onto social media, and I immediately feel disconnected, at times even depressed. All I see are people in their best outfits, forcing smiles with eyes that don’t seem to match, and feeds that looks like a “best of” highlight reel. What about the inevitable bad days? Why aren’t we talking about them? I want to know more.
Then it dawned on me that if I want to know more, I have to start to tell more. I have to be willing to open myself up. To admit when things are less than ideal. To share to pain along with the delight. To say the things I don’t want to say, so that maybe just one person out there feels less alone. So that maybe, we can start a real dialogue.
For so long, I’ve kept parts of me secret. I’ve been ashamed of things in my life, not because I feel that I am doing wrong, but because others do. When I take a good hard look at who my true friends are, they just happen to be the ones who know all of my good along with every bit of my messy, and they love me for all of it. Those that have shared the hardest parts about their life journey with me are the people I hold closest.
I wonder what would happen if for just one day, everyone that posted on social media or was asked, ‘How are you today” was honest? If our eyes and ears were flooded with true human emotions? Tell your truth. Be whoever you are right this moment, even if he or she is not ideally who you strive to be. We are all trying to get somewhere. It would be an awful lot better if we had one another to lean on when the path gets dark and windy.