The Truth

Life never stops being interesting.

A few years ago I would’ve told you that my life was interesting because I’d just joined speech and what-do-you-know, I was extremely good at it. In fact, within a few months, I was no longer even considered a novice, was held to a dauntingly high standard, and many people loved me. It sounds like bragging, but it’s not. Success comes with expectations. With an inability to accept any future failures. With a personal, infinite “trying” compass that says “you didn’t try hard enough, I think you should work harder,” and “you already achieved that. Now you need to be better than last time.” Things are interesting because of the conflict that exacerbates them. And if I was really being honest, without the added stress and pressure I was feeling due to my achievements, winning really isn’t interesting at all.

A couple years later, I would’ve told you that my life was interesting because suddenly I realized I’d been raised in a cult that was spiritually and emotionally abusive. I became triggered by almost everything my parents and most Christian leaders said, I felt hated by my family and misunderstood by my friends, and my only choice became rejecting what I’d learned about God in my upbringing and starting from the ground up–which I did. Interesting because who isn’t fascinated by cults and the stupid, funny things people in them do? Interesting because how will I ultimately change? How will my parents react? I enjoyed telling people my long-winded tragedy because I knew it would immediately fascinate, but also get me what I wanted, because pooooooor Susan. She is so lost and hurt. She lives everyday with her parents and they are still waist-deep in the doctrine that screwed up her family’s life. She has no money to move out and is soooooo scared. Sad sad saaad.*

Nowadays I don’t know what I should say. I do believe people who write about themselves have to be a little proud, otherwise they wouldn’t think themselves worthy to be written about. I’m okay with that. There are a lot of things I still need to say, and must say honestly to an audience lacking any preconceived notions of who I should be, or am.

Here’s a warning: I’m sick of censoring success out of my life to avoid the appearance of pride. I’m equally tired of censoring out the terrible events in my life to avoid the appearance of seeking attention. I’m writing a damn blog. Of course I want to keep your attention. And you want me to keep your attention so you won’t get bored. It seems like the only socially modest way to share about your life these days is to lie and say it’s good and boring.

Here’s the truth: my life is often terrifying and interesting. Or exciting and interesting. Or depressing and interesting. It switches around a lot. But it’s always interesting.

*I’m not pulling a “kids in Africa” card invalidating my experiences and feelings because they don’t deserve to be felt and grieved since others have been dealt worse. I am making fun of myself a little because in the past I’ve used my past to get sympathy and validation when it wasn’t always necessary.

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