As I sat in Nugget’s class and watched her interact with the other toddlers, I realized how truly innocent children are. They don’t hold a grudge over the person who took their ball the week prior. They don’t judge who is wearing what brand and who has a shitty haircut. They just are. I wish, as an adult, to just be able to be in that blatantly innocent way that only children can be. No baggage. No judgment. No hidden meanings. Children say what they feel when they feel it. And in reality, is there something so wrong with that? Why is that a behavior we must “grow out of?” People go to therapy to learn how to effectively tell people what they mean, so why are children raised to repress that innocent, glorious part of themselves?
As adults, we learn who we can and cannot open ourselves up to. More times than not, we learn the hard way. Through betrayal. Through secrets being shared at lunch time as we’re approaching the lunch table while our “friends” glance at us sideways. Through coworkers taking credit for our work or not inviting us to lunch anymore. Or a friend who decides that your brand of friendship isn’t what they signed up for. Shit’s rough.
I used to scoff when people told me that as I grew older, my husband would become my best friend and that if I could count the amount of truly close friends I had on one hand, to consider myself lucky. Well send me a slice of that humble pie because here I am. And I honestly consider myself the luckiest person in this world. I have my husband, mom, dad, and a best friend that everyone needs in their repertoire to call and talk to at any given moment and be completely Sarah. I can be honest, blunt, sad, mad, hurt, whatever the range of emotions. I have these people who accept me for who I am, listen to me, and are there for me. No conditions. This is where unconditional love comes from.
I was raised in a family where we didn’t shy away from telling each other what was going on or how we felt. From the outside, we may come across as dysfunctional because we are honest with one another. There’s no need for bullshit niceties when you’re talking to people who know your soul, inside and out. Honesty is expected and appreciated. Maybe that’s just the effect of being an “only” child. My parents and I have always been honest with one another, even when it isn’t so pleasant. But I can sit here today and say that my parents are my best friends and biggest supporters here on this earth. So take that as you will.
I don’t believe in bullshit… In politically correct ways of beating around the bush to say what you really mean to say. I believe that the people who end up forming your rock, your foundation, are those that no disclaimers are necessary. You can just be you, and they can be themselves to you and things still work. So why the need for the bullshit? The niceties? Why not just come out and say what you mean to say?
As much as I’d like to be in Nugget’s position of pure innocence and no baggage but a sippy cup and her purse, that’s just not real. As we get older we accumulate more and more baggage. And with the baggage comes baggage fees. We walk into every relationship with some form of baggage. As the relationship grows, we decide how much of our baggage to reveal or to hide away in the darkest corner or our souls. Sometimes we reveal too much too quickly and the person bolts. So be it. I’m at the point in my life that if you can’t handle my baggage, then you just can’t handle me. I own my baggage; the good, the bad, the ugly second hand garage sale shit baggage. All of it. I own it.
My baggage makes me who I am here today. Not yesterday. Not last year. Right now. If someone can’t handle that, they can exit to the right once the vehicle slows and the doors open. But the people who can handle me, with no apologies necessary for who I am, those are my people. They always have been, they always will be. This is why I consider myself lucky to have these handful of people behind me no matter what. Life isn’t always pretty and sing-a-longs and roasting marshmallows sharing kumbaya type shit. But my people… my people make my life what it is and I wouldn’t change a thing.