I have a confession to make . . . my tongue gets me in trouble sometimes. You see, I'm mouthy; I open my mouth before I think of what might come out; I react in the heat of moments instead of taking a couple collective moments; I have no filter.
As I've grown older the filter hasn't been as wide - an occasional 'on the whim' thought will be caught before it leaves the confinement of my mouth. There is, however, the unavoidable truth that while the filter may be decreasing in accessibility, the dryness of my humor has only started to harden and crack.
And I've got to be honest, I've never seen it as a problem before. In fact, I've always somewhat prided myself on my quick wit, on my ability to make others laugh at my own expense, on being a smart, funny woman.
Until I wasn't.
Until I was being told my "sassiness" was difficult to handle. Up until this particular time I had never seen sassy as anything but a compliment. Turns out not everyone likes a quick tongued gal.
My apologies to all you men out there that haven't had the fortune of dating a sassy sister; I'm deeply apologetic about your boring choices.
Only, looking back, I wasn't acting sorry - I was acting retroactively; I found myself becoming apologetic about my humor, my wit, my self. I found myself attempting to become someone that I'd never known - I was looking at a girl in the process of being broken.
Days later this same person began to throw my insecurities at me like baseballs being pitched for the World Series; hot, stinging, fast accusatory balls of - wait for it - everything I had owned up to, and warned about, from the beginning.
When I think back to that conversation I am reminded of a quote I found the other day:
I'm quirky, silly, blunt, and broken. My days are sometimes too dark and my nights are sometimes too long. I often trip over my own insecurities. I require attention, long for passion, and wish to be desired. I use music to speak when words fail me, even though words are as important to me as the air I breathe. I love hard and with all that I have . . . and even with my faults, I am worth loving.
I wish I could say that what I said was as eloquent as that, but the premise was similar. I am not easy. I have baggage. I am insecure - ridiculously so, sometimes.
And still I received accusations flagged with what seemed to be surprise.
Here is my big question, though. At what point, as injured, struggling people did we have to start making justifications for our own human-ness? When, exactly, did the fulfillment of the human condition stop being, quite possibly, the most beautiful pieces about ourselves and start being the weapons used against us?
I think about the people who have become a daily part of my life and just what it is that makes me so damn wild about them; let me tell you, friends, it is absolutely, unequivocally never because they are perfect or easy to love every single minute of every day. It is almost always because they've been injured, they've been a witness to struggle, they've owned up to being flawed.
Because that's just it, isn't it? We are struggling every day - each one of us - we're fighting for something, we're standing up against something, we are being broken down. Every. Day.
I don't want perfection. I don't even want near it. I am hard and calloused and needy and scarred - and if we can't find the beauty of the pain in each other, what in the hell are we doing, anyway?
I am mouthy, my tongue gets me in trouble - I am opinionated, I am deeply insecure, I have been knocked down. And I make no apologies.
I am a broken girl, but by no means will I allow anyone to break me.
Emma Lazarus wrote a sonnet once called "The New Colossus" and it ends like this:
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free . . .
the homeless, the tempest-tost to me . . ."
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free . . .
That sounds perfectly imperfect to me . . . Are you in?