Let me start off by saying, yes, you are reading my journal… or something close to it. But that’s okay. For heaven’s sake it’s on the internet and there is a link attached to my Facebook page – so it is safe to say its fine. I may wish to retract this disclaimer later, but nevertheless, here it is.
It’s a frequent thought that everyone would be more comfortable in life if they would just be honest. By this I simply mean people would get a lot farther by saying what they think instead of saying what they think they should say. For instance, on my first day of work everyone would ask me basic nonchalant, impersonal questions. This didn’t give me the opportunity to say anything close to the truth. What I really wanted to tell them was I was scared as hell and I wanted to do a good job. I hoped I was smart enough. I hoped everyone would like me. It took me an hour to pick out my outfit that morning. My hands were clammy.
That night I went home and was tired from stress so I didn’t eat dinner. Had I felt comfortable enough to say what I was thinking would people have appreciated my honesty or thought I was a nut job? I’m guessing the latter. Even if I open up the flood gates of honesty to you, it must be reciprocated. Otherwise I am left hanging by my toenails – in an understandably uncomfortable situation and you are just staring at me awkwardly. This is one of my greatest fears. The awkward is not what I’m scared of. It’s the rejection.
I like to play a game when I’m riding the subway. I have my iPod on, and look checked out, meanwhile I watch people come and go. I like to make up stories for them. A young girl mid-twenties gets onto the train. She is clearly upset and franticly typing away on her phone. Tears well up in her eyes and she scans the rest of the subway car to see if anyone notices. Then she puts her sunglasses on. I imagine that she got into a fight with her boyfriend the night before and that the argument has carried over to the next morning. She has probably already called her best friend and shared all the details of the fight who has told her that she is completely justified and her boyfriend is a jerk. Sitting next to her is an old man dressed in very nice slacks and a sweater vest. He also wears a hat and a wedding ring. He holds the straps to a reusable grocery bag from Agata and Valentina which rests comfortably between his feet as he stares straight ahead. I imagine he does the same thing every day, buying dinner for one as he is now a widow. He never thought that he would be alone – he thought his wife would outlive him. Life, you know?
When it’s finally my stop, I exit the train and I often wonder if other people play the same game and what story they make up for me. What does my life look like from the outside? What’s showing? Can everyone tell? I hope not.