Tina linked this on my Facebook page Tuesday:
I was raised by two women in my life; my mother and Tina.
My mother taught me to be a good person and to value you my heart over my brain. I am realizing more and more my brain might be special, but I have always known it is my heart that will make me happy. My mom taught me to care and to love. She also taught me that we are all flawed and we all mess up, but we are all wonderful in other ways.
When I met Tina, I was a terrified eighteen year-old. I was screwed up beyond belief and I was paddling as hard as I could to survive. My first semester of college I had fought depression hard. I ended up spending the night in a crisis center because things were that bleak. It scared the living shit out of me.
After I got out, I stopped self-harming, took my Prozac, and attempted to go to the university’s school counselor. After a few sessions, I realized the woman meant well but wasn’t meant for me. During those days, I handled my fear and pain by pretending to be tough, and I sensed that I could intimidate the woman, and I did. You can’t get help from someone who won’t push you back.
This isn’t what I meant to write about but sometimes these things happen. (I can picture my well-meaning mother and sister covering their faces with their palms and wondering why I would ever share something this personal with the internet and potentially let it haunt me for the rest of my life. You would be surprised at how many people have went through the exact same things, but are too ashamed and too afraid to talk about it. I am done being ashamed and afraid.)
Anyway, I was this red hot mess when I found the deck. The deck is more of force than a place. Our college had a deck outside of the student union and there were a group of us that would come and go through out the day. We would smoke cigarettes and talk and sometimes play cards. Some when to classes more than others and did better in school than others. We were all different from each other but we still all sat and circled through each other’s lives.
I learned more about life sitting there listening to those people than any class I went. I learned a lot more about myself. I also learned that it was okay not to be perfect and that everyone else was fucked up too. Tina introduced me to Ani and Tori and to the fact that the world won’t crumble if I don’t do things the way I should. She also taught me that I look good in “crack whore” eye make-up. I still didn’t know who I wanted to be, but that was okay.
There is something very freeing about knowing everyone else is fucked up too. Some days I need that on my post-it note.
We lived in this glorious feeling that anything could happen and we could be or do anything.
The deck changed, like things do, and I moved on. Later, Tina circled back into my life, and I think she is still raising me in ways. I think she will always be raising me.
Anyway, this video
I listened to it I wrote that massive rant.
I want to be this. I think I am this.
If you listen, she sings that her chances are one in a million, but she only needs that one. She also sings that people can call her crazy if she fails, or they can call her brilliant if she succeeds.
I have spent so much time in my life being tied up in knots being afraid of what would happen if I failed. I have worried so much about being wrong or looking foolish for believing or going for something.
That fear has been slowly wearing down. I remember after I booked my trip to Florida, I was talking to my friend Sara about the decision. I booked the trip knowing full well it could turn out very badly. I knew that I could end up coming home rejected and with a broken-heart. I was sick of clinging on to that fear and waiting for him to make the move to make me happy. She told me I was brave.
I didn’t feel brave, it just felt like the only thing I could do.
Turns out the worst did happen and I did get my heart broken. I looked like a fool for not seeing every sign that everyone else saw. You know what, it didn’t kill me, and the world didn’t crumble.
I love this song because I know the feeling of just wanting to get my feet wet until I drown. I have spent so much of my life trying to do what was smart and what was expected of me. It never worked. I know I write about this over and over and over. I am running an experiment with myself. I am writing me even if I don’t feel it will be interesting and even if I have written it before. I am writing me even if it might offend someone.
Tina told me one time to pour all of my creativity into my books, she told me to pour all of my energy into getting healthier, and she told me to pour all of my soul into this blog. She told me I would be exhausted, but I would also be happy.
I keep trying to be brave. It takes so much bravery to rush forward without a plan. My first semester of college I was in a psychology course (ironic, right? And yes, I know that isn’t strictly the proper use of the word ironic. Back off.) and I researched cutting and shoved as much information about what I was doing to myself into my brain. I made a plan about stopping. It was all very controlled and civilized.
It worked, and I can’t be anything but thankful. I handled everything like that though. Sitting and planning and hording information like a dragon with gold. I had always been so afraid of taking a misstep that I almost never moved.
Ani knows something that I needed to learn; failing miserably can be fantastic.
I know that the chances are that I will never sell a book. I know that it is far more likely that I will get hit by a bus than making anything special of this blog. I understand that the chances are good that in a few years, I will pull my head out of the clouds, and have to face facts. I might be wasting my time and hurting my chances of later success.
I just need that one chance.
So, I am going to pour everything I am into everything I am doing. I might end up failing miserably again, but so far it has been a hell of a ride.
At least I will be able to shake my fist and say, “At least I tried!”
This is also by Ani and it is my favorite love song ever: