Thursday, November 13, 2014

Let Your Flag Fly (It Doesn't Even Have to be Freaky)

I am not much of a sharer.

Says the girl with the blog who puts her shit on display for anyone who wishes to see.

Okay, so let me rephrase that.

Most of my relationships (family, friends, partners, etc) stay in their separate boxes. Rarely do the yoga peeps meet the belly dancing peeps, the massage peeps the sci-fi peeps, or the family peeps the friendly peeps. Sometimes the boxes overlap, but for the most part they don't.

Whenever I get box cross-over, I get nervous. I start to worry that they won't like what I find intriguing/uplifting/fascinating/whatever and will have a bad time or be bored. And for me, somehow the fact that they aren't having as good a time as I am is the Worst. Thing. Ever. That I am a weirdo for liking what I do, and I should know better than to share it with anyone outside the box it belongs in.

Oh hai, this is me. I like to crawl around on the floor draped in fake flowers. Don't you like doing that too?

So, I am not much of a sharer. Which makes things difficult in good relationships because that's what you do. You share yourself.

I am very good at subverting my likes to other people's. Let's do X because I know you'll have fun. Let's go out to Y because I know you like that kind of food. Let's do whatever I know you'll like, because that way you won't judge what I like to be less.

Which then makes the entire relationship about the other person and leaves me in the dust. You can't have a successful relationship with anyone if the entire thing is centered around one person to the exclusion of everyone else. That's called a dictatorship and those are always bound to fail in the end. Often with great drama and fireworks.

So these days I'm trying something different. I'm sharing myself. These are the things I like to do. These are the places I like to go. This is the music I like. This is the food I like. This is what I'm thinking right now. This is what I'm feeling. You know what? It's hard and scary. But the thing is, if you share scary and hard things, other people feel comfortable sharing the same things. Because it's also a power thing, isn't it? You share, but I'm not going to say anything. I know all about you, but you know nothing about me. I have the power. And in uneven relationships, even passive-aggressive power is better than nothing.

I don't want uneven relationships in my life. I want balanced, equal, loving, caring relationships. I'm guessing all of the people in my boxes want the same thing. And you know what? It's okay if I share something I like with someone from a different box and they aren't as huge a fan. There are lots of things I'm not passionate about but will happily experience, just because I know so-and-so loves it and I love to see the joy on their face. I am not putting someone out by sharing my passions, I am giving them the same opportunity they gave me: the chance to share the joy.

And that, my friends, is what it's all about.

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