Because of a friend’s post (actually a former high school teacher… she’s great) and my dead brain after a Later British Literature exam, I clicked on her link to one of those generic, not-very-insightful quizzes: Which Legendary Song Best Describes Your Life?
We all know those types of quizzes. Very simple questions. I was going through them quickly and then one hit me: “Which of these are you most proud of?” followed by the options of my appearance, my mind, or my career. I’m a part-time retail worker studying English Literature; the latter was definitely not an option.
Immediately I thought, well, my appearance is all right. I care about how I look. I often dress nicely and do something with my hair and makeup. I’m complimented frequently. I guess my looks are the best thing…
But wait, how could I dare think that? How could I dare say that the best thing about me is how I look? Not that looks don’t matter, but I matter more.
I had a rather dramatic (not so traumatic, luckily) breakup last week. Though we broke up, he continued to barge into my life with more arguing and blaming. My fight with anxiety lately has been rough and sometimes I think I won’t ever get better. Other days, I feel like the world is beautiful and that I’ll be all right in the end. He didn’t understand, though. He didn’t understand anything about mental illness or anxiety or depression. For those who haven’t experienced it (I’m learning that’s a far fewer number than I originally thought), it’s hard to understand. I didn’t blame him for not getting it. I blamed him for his reaction:
“You need to stop complicating things and blowing them out of proportion.”
“You need to get a handle of your issues.”
“You’ve got too many problems to ever have a successful relationship.”
“You better not fuck things up in the future like you did with us.”
My reaction? “Fuck you.” I wake up every day with my “issues”. The thing is, it makes me what I am. Yes, there are ways of ‘dealing’ with them and there are habits I need to get into so it won’t ruin my life completely, but I’m doing pretty damn well. Years of not knowing what it was, years of hating myself, years of being absolutely alone with my ‘issues’ because I didn’t know they were issues and that I could talk about them… and I’m still here. And I’m doing better than him.
I might over-think and stress myself out and get so tired because the world around me is spinning and colliding, but it’s who I am. I’d rather be this than whatever the hell he is. I’d rather live this way because I can more profoundly find beauty in this life, I can delve into every sinew and crack of the world, I can relive moments that defined my life. A lot of the time it’s hard to ‘deal’ with, but I’m learning that God gave me ‘this’ for a reason. At least I’m not an ignorant, manipulative person that I’m finding him to be.
So which option did I end up picking? Sure, my appearance might be more flattering than my mind, but I fought for what I’ve been born with. I’ve decided that if everyone has flaws, I’ll choose this to be mine. I’m proud of where I am despite this heavy load on my shoulders (pretty literal). I’m proud of my mind; it’s a beautiful thing.
… For the record, my song was “Don’t Stop Believing”.