How to stay real?

 

To start off, I’ll try describing the word ‘real’, using synonyms and antonyms of its different meanings, for us to truly appreciate its extremes and show ourselves that there is to this prose a million different meanings, some that you and I will never know. Because your understanding is, sadly, limited to (only) your interpretation and experiences, as is mine, I will use every actual version of the word to help us glimpse into other people’s lives… to help us sincerely relate.

real /ri:l/

Synonym Antonym
actual (adj.) non-existent
genuine (adj.) false
sincere (adj.) dishonest; artificial
very (adv.) hardly

 

So, how to stay real?

For starters, root deep down into the dirt of our truth by letting the little child inside us sincerely speak; of our lack of optimism and artificial inadequacies. Of how really fucking scared we are of nothing and everything at the same time. Speak to the non-existent personification of desolation we see in the mirror about our inexplicable fear of failure. Go ahead! Ask whether it hurts when it’s lonely. Never mind them. The cost of being real might just be not caring about what they’ll think in the first place.

As we deal with the man in the mirror, we’ve always felt a little uncomfortable when people we don’t know praise us for how hard we fight him. They don’t realize that their ‘fight’ is far more challenging than mine and yours. They are raising children, and paying mortgages, and taking care of their dying parents, and avoiding retrenchment, and getting addicted and growing crops to feed the world. Our struggle compared to theirs is so trivial it’s nearly vindictive, and yet they’ve continually celebrated us like damn heroes.

 

Were they ever celebrated in this way, by complete strangers?

 

They see in us the mysterious drive that reassures them it’s okay. It’s okay to be scared. Nothing wrong with that, allow it. Don’t pretend you’re not. Really be scared, but watch it. Watch the fear. Where does it come from? Where does it go when it’s gone? What actually is it? Can you track it like that? Can you pin it down? You won’t be able to. It’s a ghost in your head, a temporary state of mind, and its power over you is directly related to how much you believe it is real. Real, as in: factual and existent.

 

Today, I want to be the stranger who cheers you on, whether you’ve been cheered on by a stranger before or not. I don’t know you, and I don’t know your fight, but speak this aloud to yourself so you can actually hear it:

I’m so proud of you. Thank you for staying real. I love you. And keep fighting, because I know you’re going to win…

…just stay real

…as best as you can.

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