"You know," I said to her, "I think it's more that both of those men are exactly who they are and do not care at all what anyone else thinks they should be."
We pondered that for awhile.
She said, "Yeah. I understand that."
I talked to a friend today who, after many years of marriage, has just recently come out of the closet and who is getting a divorce from his wife. And he said that she is still his best friend and I felt so glad that finally, he is going to allow himself to be who he is, fully and openly. I think of how horrible it must have been for him to have to try and keep such a secret for so very many years, how overwhelmingly heavy of a burden that must be. I think that he never wanted to disappoint his parents or family, to shock or dismay them, and beyond that, he wanted a family. He wanted children. And so...he has been married and soon he will not be and his children are grown and he said that when he told his family, things went so much better than he had feared they would and isn't that almost always the truth? Those who truly know us and love us, will simply continue to do so, no matter what? And that the secrets we think are so vastly too horrible to share because of the condemnation we will receive if we speak them turn out to be little more than a blip, a small speed bump to slow as we go over, and then we go on, no different than before except for perhaps a great relief that the small mystery or the elephant in the room can now be dismissed?
Not to say that I am going to leak all my secrets.
Or that anyone on earth should be forced to speak theirs out loud.
There are some people, though, who just seem to know exactly who they are and who could give a shit about what anyone else thinks from what appears to be the moment of their birth. Can you even imagine Madonna in grade school? Oprah in Jr. High? Is this some special trait, embedded in DNA? Is it a sort of Asperger's which prevents some people from even being aware of the possibility of "fitting in," or the social stigma of being different?
I have no idea but what I do know is that so very often, it is these people who refuse to deny who they are, who have no seeming desire whatsoever to "fit in" who grow up to be so amazing, so cool, so inspiring that they become the very symbols of coolness, of hipness, of someone to be emulated.
And please- don't give me any shit about Madonna. Say what you will about her, she is definitely and always has been like no one else.
The bottom line is- none of us is exactly like any one else. Whether we're slightly (or profoundly) crazy, or gay or transgendered or introverted or extroverted to an inordinate degree or interested in only one thing which we shall make our life's meaning and work or scarred or different in any way, we are who we are.
And if we only had the sure belief that we would be loved for whatever that is, we probably would be.
And oh, the energy we would not have to expend trying to be what we think everyone else wants us to be.
All right. That's what I'm thinking about tonight in Lloyd, Florida. I bought seeds and plants today and this week I shall get my garden planted.
A new beginning again.
Let's all try to love ourselves for who we are. Because honestly- who else can we be?