First off, it’s my mama’s birthday—happy birthday, mim!!!
‘Tis the season of reflection and whew! what a year it has been! There’s much I could say, but I shall leave that for the next post, which will be the last of 2023.
Right now, I’m thinking of what was happening specifically around this time a year ago. To summarize: it wasn’t great. Amidst the excitement of the holiday season and filming my first notable TV spot on Law & Order, I was struggling.
You know that saying “square peg, round hole?” We all do it; part of the fun and the pain of any kind of relationship is seeing how people’s puzzle pieces work or don’t work with others at various points in time. Well, I was trying to make something fit, and it simply did not.
Sometimes when we feel trapped, we get the urge to lash out in order to escape or protect ourselves. We may say and do a lot of things that we know aren’t okay. And this person that I cared about very much said things that hurt me in a way that felt needlessly cruel. They made me feel like I had to play games or put up a shield—which was kind of the opposite of what they wanted, and certainly the opposite of what I ever want to do. I thought we were a team, and yet (not so) suddenly, we felt like adversaries.
I know now a year on that I don’t want to let those instincts win—the animal survival tactics of shutting down and becoming vicious. What good does it do for anyone? We're not out in the wild anymore; we don't need to employ those means. Instead, can I sit with those instincts, get to the other side of them, and allow my words & actions to come from a more rational, thoughtful, caring place?
I think harm is done on scales large and small when we forget that other people are also people. We get caught up in our own narratives and let other people’s similarly complex existences go by the wayside. And we treat others as if they don’t mean as much as we do; that they don’t understand, that we are dealing with way worse things than them, and therefore we win some kind of arbitrary suffering contest that entitles us to act like we exist on a higher tier of human life. To put it mildly, that's silly shit!!
With only a couple weeks left in the month and also the year, I implore you to tap back in. Into your humanity, into a team mentality, into sharing and not comparing. Do not allow yourself to become desensitized to this beautiful, terrible world of ours. It is ours, and we make it what it is. So wake up! And make your time count as best you can.