Over the past 3 days we have all been overrun with this viral question and answer thing. I thought I was strong enough to let the trend pass me by, but last night I humbly submitted to the mania. In the end, it was really fun, and also very revealing!
Okay so let's put the "questions game" thing in our back pocket for sec, because I also need to add another dynamic to the conversation. The dynamic is secrecy. Well not secrecy...but shielded reality. Just keep reading it will make sense.
So last week someone very close to me told me that she had been a little depressed lately. Well not a little depressed, she said she was really depressed...and not just the usual eat to much, drink too much depression. She said she had been thinking about committing suicide. Now part of me feels like she was joking, but deep down I don't know. It doesn't seem that unrealistic. Life can be really hard sometimes and it's easy to feel alone. Especially when you are usually the life of the party. No one expects the pretty, fun girl to get sad. I know that for years I hid my depression because I felt like I didn't have the right to be depressed. You know? I wasn't overweight, or single, or broke. I had a good life... I was supposed to be happy. So anyway, I took all that into consideration when she told me how she had been feeling, I understood why she thought she couldn't tell me...but part of me wishes that she had. But for some reason she didn't feel comfortable. Perhaps she thought I would judge her?? or wouldn't understand? Who knows the reasons we feel the need to hide..yet we all do it...
...until we get an opportunity like this game to let it all out.
Anyway, I bringing this up because even once we had the conversation, we didn't do it in person, we did via text. I guess it was easier to talk about something so sensitive, if we didn't have to look at each other. So in a weird way, we were hiding and exposing ourselves at the same time. The anonymity of it was comforting. Instead of being seen and not heard, people seem to want the opposite. I have even observed this with my blog, I know wayyy more people read it than follow it. (bc Blogger tracks the numbers). But something about clicking "like" or "follow" is scary...because it identifies you. Many of us like being anonymous. Hiding behind our electronic identity and communicating in third person via Facebook, Twitter, text, YouTube and Blogger. It's like I want you to know me...but please don't look at me! That's too personal.
I feel like the questions game hinges on the same sentiment. Most of the questions were centered around the same topic. Relationships. I noticed that a lot of people got questions from ex's (ex friends and romantic interests). People also got the usual "do you like me," "did you like me," "could you like me" questions. I even got a few. I was flattered. It was cool to be reminded that even though I'm "in a relationship"...I still got it. *brushing off shoulders and winking at my boo*. But the majority of the questions that I got and that I sent for that matter were "what happened to us" or "did you love me" questions. I saw this was true for a lot of people and that's why I wanted to blog about it. For me, the questions were a wake up call. First, I realized that I had really done some ugly things in my past. I had hurt people and more importantly, I had never apologized to them or even acknowledged what I had done. But on an even deeper level, I realized that as a collective, we are NOT talking enough. We are NOT having the conversations that we need to have when we need to have them. That's why the game is so appealing, because you get the clarity you always wanted (and deserved) without having to deal with the awkwardness and the rejection and a real conversation. For this reason, I answered all my questions. Even the ones that made me uncomfortable and some that got me in a little trouble. The fact that people had to ask let me know that I had some loose ends.
I am a very internal person, but I realize that obviously there are parts of me that I want to share with the world. So even though I may not talk a lot, I write about my feelings...on Facebook, Twitter, my book my blog. I, like all the rest of you, just want to be seen, appreciated, validated, loved. That's what all this is about. We all just want to connect to other people, even if only electronically. We want to know that so and so thinks we are cute, or that our ex didn't mean to break our heart, or that our old best friend misses our time together. I get it. At the same time, we are scared that people will be mean or judgemental or tell our business if we talk to them. Our hearts want intimacy but our mind tells us to protect ourselves.
And for the sour pusses that didn't want to play because they are "private people" or whatever haughty excuse they gave, we all know that you didn't play because you are scared of what people would ask. Maybe you're scared of your past. I can understand that. In truth, you don't owe US anything...but at least do the people in your life the courtesy of being honest with them. If it's clarity they want...give it to them. If it's a compliment...give to them. If it's support (like my friend needed)...offer it. What could it hurt?
Beneath the veil of our polished exterior, we are all asking the same thing...
Q. Does anyone see me, hear me....love me?