“Be like everyone else,” everyone used to say. “Be the same because it is what people want.”
This has to stop. Telling everyone to be the same is the equivalent of telling all of your kitchen accessories to be televisions. And what does the “same” mean? Ask the advertisements for soft drinks and candy being consumed by young and fit people, while behind the camera stands multiple people of multiple sizes.
No matter how much you try to sell this concept and no matter how many people believe that they are part of a compact, normal society, no one is. There is no such thing as normal because there is no true definition of normal. Normal is a word backed by society who manipulates all of us into thinking that the word can be defined as not unattractive in any physical or psychological way. Normal is an opinion that defines no person, place, or thing. It is merely an idea.
Over the last handful of years, advertisers have picked up on the “unique” trend that has been coming about. And now, instead of persuading viewers towards sameness, they are persuading them towards uniqueness. That is fantastic, if that were the case, but it is not. Rather than rethinking selling tactics and original ideas, advertisers have just replaced the word “same” and its synonyms with “unique” and its synonyms. Do you see what they did there? They are telling the whole world to be different in the exact “SAME” way. This is preposterous! This is an outrage!
This is capitalism.
Everyone has a goal in life. Some want to be at the top of a company that sucks money from people. If that is your dream, then congratulations. But if it is not, PLEASE do not let anyone (no matter how close you are to them) try to tell you that who you are is not good enough. PLEASE do not let anyone try to tell you how to act or what to say or what to wear or what to photograph or write or draw or paint or perform. Our “gut” feeling is always our best guide. Embrace that there is no one else exactly like you on this drowning planet. Go down with your ship because trying to impress others will never persuade them to save you. Only you can save you. True beauty comes from just being exactly who you want to be.
A weight on my shoulders, chest, and ankles, but never a regret, for my trauma has taught me how to be strong.
A curse, but never a weakness, for my trauma has taught me how to teach myself.
A struggle, but never a setback, for my trauma has taught me how to keep moving (and even if I sometimes feel like I’m moving backwards, moving is still progress because bringing myself out of this emotional paralysis is next to impossible).
A hovering shadow whispering in my ear about all of the reasons why I’ll be alone forever, but never a fear, for my trauma has taught me to enjoy solitude.
When I read about the passing away of Amy Bleuel, I was overwhelmed with various emotions; The first was an empathetic sense of relief for a human that was brave enough to share her story with the world and begin a project that has saved my life and helped millions of others. I then felt rushes of emotional pain and exhaustion, for battling a battle this tough is so straining on the heartstrings and debilitating for the drained brain. At last, a wave of gratitude and pride swept over me for beautiful Amy, for it’s never about the number of years that make your life count, but what you fill those years up with.
So thank you, Amy. Thank you for taking a form of communication that has hurt so many with it’s conforming tactics and using it to help break a stigma and inspire hope around the world. Thank you for reassuring me with the realization that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it does not matter how short or long that tunnel is. All that matters is that there IS a light and you can fight your way through the dark to reach it, and if you don’t quite make it, that does not give you or anyone the right to deem your journey a failure.
Thank you so much for your heroism, Amy. Rest well. You deserve it; 💙
Even though happiness is often short-lived
And hope is a warm meal served on a cold, windy evening,
Endurance is the food on the plate that will satisfy, regardless of its temperature;
Love is the blanket on your shoulders,
And when the wind blows it away,
Do not chase after it;
It is always better to eat a cold meal
Than to starve to death-
I promise myself every day that I will not become you
I will not lose track of time
And deny the truth so I don’t have to face the fact that I’m an unfaithful, hateful, violent
Abuser of all things and all places;
To hear no sounds and see no traces
Must have been hard to get used to
But you make it look so easy,
And every time my space is invaded by anyone, no matter how innocent, I grow queasy – uneasy,
And I think I am walking away,
But I am not
And I think that it’s tears that drip down my shirt,
But it is sweat,
And suddenly I am suffocating
Because every breath leads to punishment;
You made sure I knew to
Always look afraid
Because looking like I could handle yourself
Was a challenge,
Which you never took lightly
Hold in breaths to hold in pain;
No matter our strength,
No matter our endurance,
There will always come moments
When we break-
When we are too tired from all we’ve given
To remember how to take-
To remember how to wake,
And our eyes water the skin that covers up the empty space inside,
And our minds convince us that our souls are dried,
That our hearts have been fried,
That our purposes have died;
Am I consuming too much space,
Is that why you needed to get inside?
Or did you think I had something to hide,
Like this body that you shamed after having your fun?
I’m sorry for breathing this air
That was clearly meant for you;
I’m sorry this space cannot be filled
With that naked woman on the screen,
But go ahead and try to pretend with me;
I’m sorry that I have to fill in to substitute
While you fill inside;
I’m sorry for asking you to stop;
I clearly must exist too much;
How dare I think that I deserve anything better than your hands in memorable places;