I have been through things. Everyone has. Some of my things aren't that pretty and I don't love talking about them at cocktail parties. But my things have made me a really crooked, incredibly awake and a very glad 23 year old. I love my things because of that. I hope you love yours the same. Because as a result of them, you've gained a tiny ounce of wisdom and I'd be willing to bet, a different way of knowing.
I am not good at knowing half people over coffee and then never again. Not knowing the full them. I cannot do it. I must know the them that painted their childhood bedrooms bright pink and powder blue. The them that smiles like their dad and curses like their grandma. I must know bad day them and Christmas morning them. I must know. Or nothing at all.
I am not good at making small talk or entering into situations that involve meeting copious amounts of new people. I often come across as removed, shy or stand-offish. That's far from true. 90% of the time I am thrilled at the feeling of my feet tapping on the ground, giddy over the slow, confident release of my chest as I breathe. It doesn't take me long to warm up if you open up to me. Tell me your biggest fear, your biggest secrets, open your heart to me and we'll cry for hours. Tell me the worst joke you've ever heard, and I'll laugh about it for days.
Some days it's heavy knowing that there are so many people who know half me. Who know list version of me. They know some facts, but the rest becomes the work of imagination. We're all sitting up on these goofy little pedestals where people have convinced themselves they're experts on who we are.
Often I would much rather be chucked into a room filled with people I've never laid eyes on before. People who don't know a thing about who I am. Not a thing. And I can introduce to them the me that I am right then in that very moment. Just Laura- quirky odd and moderately awkward, overwhelmingly glad to be alive, Laura. Not the, "So and so told me all about you" Laura. Not, "I heard you did this" Laura. Not, "based on social media" Laura.
Just Laura. I want to just be that.
Or maybe it's just that I want to be the Laura that chokes up when she tells sad stories or something touches her heart. Or the Laura that stares at people in passing cars wondering what their stories are. The Laura that talks really slowly and so much about souls she finds full of life. I want people to know the things that can't be written down on paper, that can't be known until you really know me. Until you sit across the table from me and say, tell me about your childhood. Tell me about your life. Those are the kind of people I want us to all know each other as.