“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” -Jesse Jackson
The other day I was telling a friend about recent changes of behavior that I have been experiencing. Long story short: tantrums and rants. All my life I have been the kind of person who repress feelings, emotions and opinions in order to keep the outside world under control. Ignoring those things have been, for ages, my coping mechanism. And suddenly right after Azul died and Eduardo entered my life, I have started, unintentionally, to let all those feelings and things out, the old and the new ones, until it became a regular behavior. Honestly, I don’t feel proud about it because it had been affecting my relationships with people and with myself (including staying away from loved ones and even suicidal thoughts). From a “you got this” attitude, I have become an ultra-sensitive, emotionally violent person who often lose control of her emotions.
Photo from the day we shopped doggie stuff before Joy came home!
Through art, journaling, memory keeping and following awesome people on social media, I have been able to reflect a lot about mental health and about how I see the world at 32. I have been able to learn and define my points of view and establish a more concrete set of values with supporting opinions. Every day I learn something new about myself, about life, about interactions with other people. Every day I am more aware of how we all are works in progress and that the truth about growing into an adult is more about the unlearning process than the learning.
At 32, I can say that I am more into art and into kindness, into quiet time, into accepting myself. I am currently more aware that every single person is fighting their own battle, even battles that for me seem small (as small as my own battles may seem to other). I am more interested in reducing waste and creating a home that I love with minimal stuff. I am more in peace with my body and appearance and I have decided that since I am beautifully “decorated” on the inside for my own enjoyment, I do not want to need to “decorate” myself on the outside for others to see.
I feel happy to say that I often take time to be sensitive and kind to others before judging or trashing them out. This is one of the accomplishments that I feel more proud about. I have noticed how common and normal and accepted is to gather (behind a phone screen or in real life) to amuse ourselves with other people’s life choices. And even if we keep doing this between our friends as a joke (and not directly into other people’s faces), it makes me uncomfortable. Making fun of that girl from high school who now shows questionable fashion tastes or of the woman who films herself dancing alone in her living room and posting it on Instagram, doesn’t seem funny to me anymore. Instead, it made me feel like a hater, like a bully and like an awful human being.
Now I am happy to be able to accept others and to be able to understand that people think and act mostly according to their circumstances, interests and education. Them being different to me and to my opinion doesn’t make them less valuable; it doesn’t make their existence prone to jokes, trashing and bullying. Liberating myself from the burden of (secretly) being mean to others has been the greatest thing that has happened to me and it has helped me to be kinder with myself too. If people love what they do or what they say or what they use, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone, let them be happy and lets be happy about ourselves too!
So yes, a work in progress, a kinder soul, a loving heart, a colorful mind; this is who I am today.