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I watched The Amazing Spiderman 2 this morning, and something re-occurred to me. I say re-occurred because it’s not something I haven’t heard before, but something that re-opened the eyes after being under blankets for a period of time. Before Electro truly became the bad guy, he was just a face in the crowd. He sees himself appear on all the TV screens in the square and says, “You see me.”

Isn’t that naturally what most of us want at some point? To be seen? I’m an introvert and shiver at the idea of a crowded room all looking at me, even if they were smiling. I’m a groupie. But that doesn’t mean I want to be another face in the crowd either. I want to hear my name called out by a close friend, by a boyfriend whom I’m head-over-heels for. I’d like a total stranger to say something like, “Hey. Not that I’m a creep or anything, but you have pretty eyes,” or “Girl, I may not be able to pull off that color, but you look ravishing.”

In return, I also want to start noticing people more than usual. I want to start stepping outside of my comfort zone and looking people in the eye with a smile instead of at a passing flower patch as I pass a stranger. I want to sit on a bench by someone who is sitting alone and make small talk and learn his/her name because it’s good to make others feel noticed since I know how nice it is to be noticed by someone else.

I wish these days that to notice someone didn’t necessarily mean you had a crush on that person. I want to be friendly without having that person assuming I want a date or a drink or money for a charity. I just want to be nice to you so that maybe your day will be brightened so you’ll do the same for someone else. You don’t know what kind of day someone else has had, and it puts a smile on my face knowing that I was able to make someone else smile.

Before Electro was Electro and he was in the elevator with Gwen, she says, “It was nice to meet you, Max.” And he pauses and goes, “She remembered my name.”

Start noticing others in a way that is not necessarily romantic, but just genuine. Do this even for your friends. It doesn’t matter if you helped that friend pick out that shirt. Compliment that friend anyway. Compliments are a good starting place. After all the work some put into their face or clothing, the least you could do is say, “By the way, I wanted to let you know that you look really pretty today. Have a good one.” With the way things are these days, we could use all the help we can get.

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Closed Doors

I could make a list of things that have caused me pain that have not had some kind of lesson, experience, or something healthier for me later on after the pain subsided. At the moment, I cannot think of one death, one heartbreak that didn’t serve a purpose.
God does not waste pain. The devil thrives off of it, but God allows it to be able to show us something better, to teach us something we wouldn’t have known otherwise.
Tonight I was thinking about how thankful I am for my boyfriend. A year ago, I had a crush on a different guy who had been a friend for a while. But when life started to hammer and I needed a friend, he disappeared. It took me a long time to admit how much that hurt me. But my boyfriend has seen what a bad day looks like for me, and he has not left my side. God knows what we need better than we do, and when we fight against that by running after things that we were never intended to pursue, we will be hurt because it’s like trying to climb over an electric fence.
Do not bang against doors God shuts, because there are other doors down the hall if you keep walking that are already open. However, sometimes there are things we are meant to pursue and God doesn’t wants us to keep fighting for it and not give up. You will be able to see the difference if you take a step back and look at what you are fighting for. Is it healthy? Can it serve a greater good? Or is it something you want selfishly and has the potential of being bad for you?

Students spill out of buildings, their steps accidentally in line like soldiers. The move in groups, but don’t also the ducks flying in V’s? Doesn’t also the school of fish, the family of deer, and the wild horses? Society becomes dangerous when the power gets to their heads. That group of boys laugh at the girl wearing the Bogo headphones. But they would never have said anything had they each been alone walking past her.

Don’t tease the waitress when you yourself haul out dead turkeys for a living.
Take off your hat before your ego swells it tight.
Take off your bandana before a real gang shows you what a gang looks like.

It takes only one man to corrupt an army, even if you aren’t aware that you’re holding the baton. You are not brave when you have backup. You are not cool when you’re the reason that girl is filling a trash can with Kleenex and waiting for a wet pillow to dry.

Her parents are now planning a funeral.

Do you feel cool now?

Have you ever noticed how fake we are with each other most of the time?

I’m a waitress, and a lot of days I have to stand in front of my guests and lie to them. When I’m asked, “How are you?” I have to respond with “I’m good,” whether I actually am good or not. Sometimes the people asking are asking out of kindness and not curiosity, but for the people who might have actually been interested, I can’t respond with, “I’m in my menstrual cycle so my lady parts are in a type of civil war right now” or “I’ve been depressed because I’ve been missing my grandma a lot lately.” Once when I was being honest with a table of customers by telling them I was tired after having been there all day, my manager overheard me and told me I wasn’t supposed to say that.

Maybe some will claim that we are giving “too much information,” but sometimes I don’t have a filter, and if you’re going to ask me how I am, I will give you a short look into my private life because I don’t have anything to hide. Maybe some will claim that we aren’t honest because we aren’t given the time to really dig into our stories, so we just don’t say anything. But most of the time I’d rather hear someone say, “You know, I’m really not doing good, but I’d rather not go into it.” That is more honest than saying, “I’m okay.” Because at least by admitting you aren’t doing well, I can pray for you. Or on days I’m not doing well, I can be thankful that my struggles aren’t as bad as yours might have been that day I talked to you.

The way I see it is if you don’t want to hear the truth, don’t ask. Don’t ask me how I am if you don’t want to hear about how I had to borrow money from my mother because I couldn’t pay October’s rent. But at the same time, the culture I live in doesn’t want to hear a sob story. So I pretend everything is fine.

I pretend it doesn’t bother me that some of the people I thought I called friends don’t really seem to care whether I’m in their life or not.

Sometimes we talk to others about others behind their backs instead of talking to them directly. And then pretend to their faces that we weren’t just talking shit. But then who is all talking about us behind our backs?

I used to pretend it didn’t bother me that a guy I used to like didn’t care to spend time with me anymore. Now I’m dating someone who wishes he could see me more than he gets to.

We pretend we know what others are talking about even if we don’t.

We pretend to like certain people even if we don’t.

We pretend to like our jobs even if we don’t.

We pretend to know everything when most of the time we hardly know anything.

Where does it end? What would the world look like if everyone was honest? Would people be more or less offended than they are now? Would we be able to heal faster if we didn’t have anything to hide?

I don’t know about you, but I’m awfully tired of pretending. I can’t be a ray of sunshine every day. I hate lying about the little things. There is so much I feel like I need to learn before I can truly contribute to some of the bigger conversations out there. And I hate that I allow people dictate my emotions and my life sometimes. I’m not a confrontational person, but I’m a very emotional person, and I feel like I’m not allowed to show that side because it makes people feel uncomfortable.

But maybe we need to feel uncomfortable to be reminded about what kind of world we live in. It makes me sad that we have more fake conversations with each other than real ones.

Whether we like it or not, every single person on this planet is a mess in some way or another. So why do we hide? Why does it take us so long to be honest with each other?

[[Please Note: I’m aware a lot of us have close friends to go to to discuss the messy and painful things with, but sometimes we are even fake to those people. And I don’t think it undermines the fact that we are not acknowledging the amount of pain in the lives around us. If we could be open about our struggles, would that change things like bullying? The ignorance of others makes things worse for those who were already in pain.]]

Great Love

It doesn’t bother me that I’m going to die someday. But I’m already tearful at the thought of having to be at the funerals of people I love before I come to my own. But great loss can only come from great love. And great love is worth every tear.

Sometimes I’m afraid to love because to love someone means to give in to a vulnerability that gives them the option of hurting me, whether that means leaving me or dying. But as terrifying as vulnerability is, we can’t be fully happy or even fully ourselves without it. Walls come down one way or another, we just get the option of taking them down ourselves or having them crash around us in ashes.

Be wise with whom you open yourself to, but make sure there is at least someone in your life you can be vulnerable with. It will eventually lead to loss, but you will have great loss anyway if you never give yourself the chance to experience great love. A life without love is empty.

Taco Bell, Man

Everyone hurts. Everyone needs someone to talk to in that time of hurt. But it can be hard to find anyone who wants to take the time to listen. We keep it to ourselves because we don’t want to burden them; we don’t want to sound depressing since we know there are people in the world doing worse than us; we want to think positive because others keep telling us things will get better. But that doesn’t mean they will get better tomorrow. Or the next day. So what are we supposed to do with our hurt in the meantime?

They may not be the people you’d expect them to be, but there are people you will meet who will be real with you. If you are brave and start opening small pieces of yourself to them, you will be able to find people who will handle the news like you’re hoping they will. It may not be the first or even the fifth, but there will be someone who will not try to give you advice and just hug you for a long time if that’s what you need. There will be someone who will build a fort you can crawl into with a plate of pizza and a movie to shut out the world for just a few hours. There will be someone who will take you fishing to calm your nerves. There will be someone who will be wiser than you who may not have the answers, but will know what to say to make you feel better, whether that’s to make you laugh, make you hopeful, make you thankful. 

The people that look like they have it together probably don’t. The ones whose lives look the best probably aren’t. I’m not saying no one is happy, but not everyone who looks happy is happy. Don’t say “I’m sorry for being a burden” because if the someone you are spilling your guts to is a true friend, you will never be a burden. Your hurts should be your friend’s hurts too because no one should hurt alone. 

If you’ve already found someone who is that person for you, then maybe think back to the last time someone was open and honest with you. Are you the type of person people can be themselves with? What do you really know about your friends? What if you are someone they feel they have to be fake around? Pay a little more attention to your friends if you haven’t been. Really ask them how they are doing instead of letting it be a filler for “hello.” People usually think you don’t care, so they will give you a BS answer. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to say. Sometimes people just need someone they can rant to, someone they can cry with, someone who will make them feel less alone.

Allow people to be honest with you. Give them openings so they feel they can be honest with you. You have no idea how big of an impact that small step can be in someone’s life.