When you’re a kid, you don’t worry much about being open with your feelings, being close to those around you. There’s a shift, somewhere in late elementary/early middle school when kids start to become hateful. Not all kids, mind you, just some of them, the ones that have had some sort of experience in their childhood that makes them feel as though they are capable of dispatching judgement on those around them. One thing you’ll learn, much later in life, when it’s too late, that kids are all fucking stupid.
Kids are Fucking Stupid
It may seem to you, at the time, that these kids may know better, have a better understanding of life or being cool, or maybe just the gall to out those for being different. The truth is, they are fucking stupid, and so are you. But that’s okay, because we’ve all been there. I was very much a product of a poor middle school experience. My 6th grade year a malicious rumor that I was gay circulated throughout the school. In hindsight, and as most good people will agree, there is nothing wrong about being gay—people are people regardless of who we love. However, this was a different time, when being cast as anything other than “acceptable culture” was to make you the black sheep. We were kids and we were fucking stupid.
I failed 6th grade because I hated every moment of going to school. I sobbed in the morning because everyone hated me, like I was this pariah with which no one wanted to be affiliated. Except Josh, who was the mutual benefactor of such ridicule. It was a hard year. Finally, as the year was coming to a close, I had accepted my failure; I was ready to leave that school. Then Michael, exactly 50% of all the friends I still had, was hit by a truck while rollerblading in Highland Village and died. Dealing with death at any age is hard, but dealing with death, especially the death of a young child and friend, was a rare breed of life-changing trauma.
Some people handle the trauma in different ways, become immune, standoffish, cold, cynical. I was the opposite; I was an exposed nerve. Everything meant something to me, everything had value and importance and symbolism. I remain that way today, but I only reserve those feelings for myself and, perhaps, you. The weight of the world is heavy, kiddo, but emotion is one thing that we cannot lose and we should not ever strive to lose. Emotion makes us strong, battling against it, and more importantly living with it. We have to navigate our lives balancing our feels and our responsibilities and our relationships without losing the the most important piece, our humanity.
But You Gotta Have Faith…
Over your life you will find people with whom to trust your deepest secrets, the singularity of your emotions, but it comes and goes. You will meet these people and they will flicker and fade. You should never shy away from opening up fully because there is something transcending, in a way, with opening your heart and mind to someone. It seems I have lost the capability of doing so over the years, but if there is one person who I will always give my entire life to, it’s you. Granted, I can’t give you everything right away, because you’re just a little guy learning to sleep in a bed without four walls, but one day, I hope you will know everything: my decisions, my failures, my heartaches and weaknesses, but also my intermittent successes. I want very much for you to be a better person that I could’ve ever been, and it starts with showing you my hand from the very beginning.
Don’t be afraid of chasing proximity, emotional or otherwise. You’ll get hurt, but you’ll be a better person for it. Do your best to be sincere, always help those in need, and just give as much of yourself as you can afford, but save enough to pick up the pieces. You are the only person that has to live with yourself forever, so make sure you’re giving yourself good company. Be proud of who you are and the connections you make.