Last night a young lady with a history much like my children’s wrote me a message and asked for advice. But before she asked, she spent several paragraphs telling me why she wasn’t worthy of my time. “…as if reading your blog somehow makes me worthy of placing myself in your life,” she said.
As if my time, my attention, my compassion was something of value and she…was not.
I can string words together in a way that is appealing to some, and I can make people laugh or cry… but that does not make me any more important than she. It does not make me special. It doesn’t make me somehow more worthy than anyone else. Nor does it make me any less in need of help, attention, or advice.
Because this blog is not ‘real’. The internet is not ‘real’. These are just words I put out there, only part of the whole, a fraction of what or who I am. It is, in some aspect a persona created by me…not really ‘me’ at all…
It doesn’t make me anything, really. Just someone who writes things down. And just like Tom Cruise, or that guy who stands on the street corner, my tummy rumbles when I eat Mexican food. Because when it comes down to it…we are all exactly the same.
My everyday life is real. My soft cheeks, my waistline, and dirt under my fingernails…those things are real. Fights with my husband; saying things to my children I can’t take back; having a baby at sixteen and never really outgrowing the stigma; and raising other people’s damaged children and wishing I wasn’t needed. Real is the arthritis that plagues my fingers as I type; the pain in my children’s soul when they open their memories to past abuse; watching my parents grow old and knowing I am doing the same; the fat cat that sleeps by my feet as I write.
Wondering if my children are more messed up than when they came; my spare bank account; crooked teeth; occasional deep down self-loathing; and the painful words of this girl who has never met me, whose history haunts her to the point that she writes to me…a stranger she hopes has some answers.
Those things are real. And sometimes I come on here and write when my mouth can’t find the words and somehow my fingers can. And I write, and people say, “Oh, I love your honesty…” and I think, “Oh, if you only knew the mess I am inside…”
Being able to write it all down is just a skill I possess, like some can swing a baseball bat, sing, knit a scarf or multiply without a calculator. Having writing skills doesn’t make me special and it certainly doesn’t entitle me to deem my time more worthy than this strangers needs.
And because deep down we all suffer the same insecurities, when this girl came to me, with her beautifully written words of pain and struggle, telling me she is not worthy of my time…my first thought was,
“But, honey…what makes you think I am worthy of YOURS?”