“Terrible, Thanks for Asking”

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How are you?

Good.

Wow, how deep. I don’t know about you, but there are way too many times in my life when people ask me how I am, and either they don’t really mean it and don’t care what the answer is, or maybe I don’t have time to answer.

I am not usually the typical person when it comes to this example, because I have had many conversations with complete strangers about a huge variety of topics. I love people, and I love being honest and truthful about my thoughts and feelings. There have been times when a cashier asks me how I am, and I promptly respond “terrible” or something similar when i’m having a bad day. Sometimes it leads to an awkward interaction, and other times it leads to a show of compassion by a fellow human who faces the same feelings from time to time as well.

I’m guilty of answering the standard reply, however. I do it many times, just like everyone else. Every single time it happens and I’m not fully honest, I hate it. I hate the custom, I hate the culture.

All I want in my life is for people to know the true me. I want people to understand who I am as a person, and I want them to know my struggles. For me, I usually don’t need the people around me to do anything for me other than just be there, listen to my rants and my struggles, and continue to be my friend.

I know there are those in this world that have vastly different needs than I do, and they all have different hearts, levels of compassion, and love others in very different ways. Lately, I have witnessed many people opening up about hurts, or even just casually mentioning a personal struggle, and it’s made me realize that this is one of the best parts about humanity. Figuring out how to be okay with the fact that we just can’t do it all.

The point of this is that I think we all need to surround ourselves with a variety of people, and ideally, always let go of your frustrations around them. In a healthy way of course. We all face stress, bad days, and we all feel broken. It’s just part of being human, and I don’t believe in being inauthentic with each other when it comes to these basic emotions.

It’s okay to not want to share, and it’s okay not to share at all. The problem is that most people feel like they CAN’T share, and that should never be the case.

I think we as a human race need to feel more comfortable with opening up and sharing our struggles and problems with one another. There’s nothing worse than the rest of the world appearing to be perfect while you are sitting there drowning in your own thoughts. When you are together with people who all open up and show their emotion, suddenly there is a shift in the environment. The communal acceptance of a safe space.

Sometimes there aren’t signs when someone is in trouble. But when there are no walls present between people, it becomes easier and easier to let out that trouble. To share, discuss, and know that you have friends who care about your well-being and will do anything to help you. And don’t just share. Listen. Listen to others when they share, and make it a safe space for them to do so.

I’m certainly not perfect, and while I try desperately to maintain perfection in all that I do, I know that it can’t always be done. When I fail, and when I struggle, I treasure the moments when I can open up, let it all go, and know that there are people around me who completely understand, listen, and love.

There’s a podcast that I have recently discovered called “Terrible, thanks for asking.” It explores the human struggle. Grief, stress, loss, and pain. If you don’t talk about your pain and struggles, and you don’t feel comfortable with how to do it, I encourage you to give this podcast a listen. It’ll teach you that it’s okay to not be okay. You’re allowed to share your feelings with anyone around you, be it stranger or friend.

We aren’t perfect, so let’s stop pretending to be.

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