This is a guest post by Silver Longjohns.
Wish I’d had a pottery wheel at ten.
My darling. I love you so much, more than you know.
There’s a phrase I want to teach you – it’s “fuck that noise.” I’m almost definitely not using this vernacular properly, but no matter – to me it means pushing back against unspoken expectations that are hurtful. (I’ll stick with the noise concept here, but if the phrase doesn’t really work for you, try this conceit.) I know you’re a young woman with a lot of good in your life – a supportive family, a strong and healthy body, warm and smart friends, a good education.
But, my darling, you’ve also got a lot of noise in your head. While you’re doing a great job meeting expectations – behaving and dressing conservatively, doing All The Homework – there is a lot of noise that is hurting you.
You may not believe me. After all, both the noise and the hurting have always been there, and you can’t imagine life without them. You know on some level that you hurt, I think, but you don’t know why or how, and given all the good in your life you also don’t really believe you have any right to be hurting. But you do hurt. The only way to deal with the hurting is to face the noise that’s causing it, name it, and wrest away the power it has over you. Otherwise, it only gets worse with time, screws you don’t believe in that are tightening in your brain.
So I’m writing this to you because you can and will learn to recognize that noise and face it down, and maybe it will be easier if someone points some of it out to you, recognizes the struggle you’re going through.
You currently equate your value as a person with all kinds of difficult/impossible expectations:
1) your ability to save the world
2) your ability to know all the things
3) your ability to be attractive in the right way but not too attractive in the wrong way
4) your ability to find someone to be in a long-term, devoted, monogamous, sexy, stimulating relationship and have 2.5 perfect children with you
5) your ability to get everyone to like you.
Augh! So much noise! Let’s unpack it. Continue reading