What if you admitted to everyone you know that your life is just a series of ugly, cold moments with a man you now realize is made of stone; a marriage that you realize, a few years and a few kids down the line, was a mistake?
What if you admitted to standing by the water cooler at 3 p.m., daily, contemplating other worlds beyond the one you seem so concretely stuck in right now? What if you could lift these feet and chase after your dreams? What if you could rock those cinder blocks like a pair of racing flats and take the fuck off?
What if you really told someone about the ‘secrets only car windows will ever know’? Chris Trapper posed that question in a song, Feelings Without Weight.
What if we all posted Facebook profile pictures of what we look like, first thing in the morning, before we step foot out of bed?
What if you told the truth about your addictions? Popping pills and losing jobs. Cursing God. Sleeping life off? Could you ever be redeemed in ‘their’ eyes. Those people, you know, the perfect ones, the ones that are monogamous workers with awesomely manicured lawns?
What if, for one moment in your life, you focused on you, and wellness and told those people to fuck off, if only in your head? What if you finally focused on letting them go and refocused on YOU?
What if you let someone get really close up? I mean close enough to count every single large pore on your shy face? So close they could smell and name the toothpaste on your breathe? What if you let them see the scars, the red ribbons of battles that have risen? What if you let them roll their fingertips, slowly and gently, over each and every one to FEEL them from the inside out with the lights on? Unabashedly.
What if you were honest and updated that if you had to do it all over again, you wouldn’t? Not a damn thing. And used an exclamation point to punctuate!? Wait, and you told your partner too!
What if you said proudly that you were the reason your life didn’t quite pan out the way you always imagined it would?
What if you came clean and told her you lost your job months ago and you’ve been hanging at the library, pretending to be at work?
What if you admitted that he cheated on you, for years and you still (gasp) forgave him? What if you stood up in front of a church full of people and said, “Well, I said for better and for worse. Why is that a deal breaker when that is the single most human, easiest of mistakes to make?” What if you walked out of that place, head held high and smiling?
What if you admitted, if even to yourself, that you fucked up and chose the wrong one? What if you had the strength to leave in search of the one?
What if you got really honest with yourself and looked in the mirror and admitted that you are, quite possibly, the world’s most boring know-it-all of a person? What if you then admitted that that, in turn, makes you ugly as well? Hallelujah that would be so awesome.
What if you had the balls to say everything you meant with all your heart and you shouted it from the rooftops, with reckless abandon?
What if you were honest about motherhood, like how you felt something was ripped from you that moment she was yanked out? Like how it had very little do with wanting to feel MORE connected-not so much in a reinstating the umbilical cord way-but rather it was all about wanting your youth back?
What if you told everyone that you are lonely and wouldn’t mind disappearing?
There are so many things we aren’t allowed to share. They are hushed. They are inboxes between giggly gossipy girls, “Oh my gawd. Did you read her status? TMI.”
Honesty. Quite honestly, I feel it is craved. And I feeI it is desperately needed. So many people are suffering, from so many different angles in life. Yet all we do is wax philosophical from a blurry distance. We get political and far away. We make bold proclamations and isolate others. Or we pretend nothing is wrong and perpetuate our own isolation.
There's a fine line between discretion and not talking at all. Between confidence and a lie.
I’ve never been attracted to perfection. And it isn’t because I’m insecure. If I was standing next to Miss Universe of Perfect Lives I wouldn't fidget and squirm with insecurities. I wouldn’t feel ugly. But I’d squirm just the same out of a case of the ‘I don’t get it's and the 'You Lie's. I would laugh in contempt.
I don’t connect to perfect people because I’m so incredibly UNperfect and fucked up in my own glorious little way. I fumble through these halls and other people's honesty helps me find my way. So when people 'fake it', I don't appreciate it.
Eh, you do too masturbate Marky Mark. I don’t believe you.
And perfect marriages without any conflict? Bullshit. She undermines your parenting skills. Or he is always out exploring while you are, surprise, home again. But, oh yes, he is the bread winner. You stay home for 120 hours a week, taking care of the kids and the house without any pay and only enough time to shave one leg a day (if you are blessed with time enough to shower).
Betty Crocker Sue Whatsherface of a Mom, yeah, maybe sometimes, but I bet more often than not you are too tired to cook. Or she scraped some crusty car change together to buy her two kids one Happy Meal to share. I bet you worry about the quick side conversation you had on the playground with your kid's teacher. Your son, classified, special needs? But I'm so smart?
There are no perfect parents or marriages or persons. Everyone struggles with loss and loneliness and aches and pains. Everyone gets the ‘what ifs” sometimes. And everyone, whether you sleep in a bed filled with kids, a hubby, and a cat or you sleep alone on a couch in your apartment, feels alone at some point or another.
I was with my dear friend Johnny the other day, helping him say goodbye to one chapter in his life as he opened the next great chapter. As we were rummaging through his stuff he asked why I called this Ugly Like Me. This blog is a response to that. I see how many perfect pictures people paint of themselves, me included, on this great universe of social networking.
I explained to him how, at first, when I logged onto Facebook I felt a little weird, a little less. “Everyone’s so perfect, wow.” But the truth is, as my relationships on here have grown I've come to understand that, everyone, in some way or another, is ugly like me.