It never fails to interest me that people think they know me because they read my writing. Perhaps it’s a symptom of our society, riddled with overfamiliarity because of the constant access that social media provides us. Still, I find it amusing. I don’t deign to know any author because I’ve read one of their books, or articles, or poems. It may show a facet of them, a feeling in that moment in time… but that is all. Poems, in particular, are moments caught and imbued with language. They are not meant to be taken so literally. They are certainly not anything set in stone.
I can write a sad poem without being a “sad person”. Same goes for anger, joy, jealousy, or anything else under the sun. Why must we attempt to put each other into these ridiculously restrictive boxes? Human beings are complex, and complicated, and constantly changing. We are never the same from one moment to the next. Emotion literally means “energy in motion”. Wouldn’t it be easier to just accept and appreciate pieces of work as they are, without making assumptions or presuming to know someone based off of them?
If you don’t like my writing, that’s fine. I really don’t care. Just don’t read it. It’s simple. If you don’t like me as a person based on my writing, that’s also fine. Hilarious, but fine. You don’t need to tell me about it. Just don’t read my writing. It’s simple.
The internet has given us all far too much liberty to be cruel and judgmental while remaining anonymous. I find it boring, and slightly depressing. Why waste time tearing others down instead of focusing on our own lives? Why not instead use this tool we have to reach across continents for, oh, I don’t know, LIFTING each other up?
There is a tenet of yoga called Satya, which means truthfulness – but it’s not that simple. You don’t say something just because it’s true (and what is true, really? we all live in our own version of reality). You ask yourself, is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? And if it doesn’t meet all three requirements, you keep your mouth shut. It’s been a great reminder to me over the years.
Your truth is not my truth is not anyone else’s truth, and that’s fine. That’s literally the human condition. The trouble arises when we try to force our truth upon others, or demand that others see things the way we do. That’s just not how the world should work, and I will never change my voice to match what you think I should be. I will never accept the idea that someone gets to tell me who I am based on a piece that I wrote. That’s honestly ridiculous.
Also, some of you should check out a TikTok account with a series called “Mansplaining to Men”. He’s great, and you could learn a thing or two from him.
To those of you who are here just to read and enjoy, thank you. I appreciate you. Keep on shining.