Let me just say something, to get this out of the way. I can be a badass. My friends tell me this often. I am quiet on the surface, yes. But I am forever thinking, I am forever analyzing, and I am forever drawing (often correct) conclusions based on that analysis. Once I have derived a conclusion, I act on that. If I fall, and yes, I do fall, I get up, I dust myself off, and I get back on the horse with minimal whining and more determination than I had when I fell off in the first place. In many ways, this is a positive thing. I get down, but I don’t stay down for long. If I hurt myself (literally), I get the fuck back up and I set my own broken ankle, or I walk back home despite a concussion and pour peroxide over my open wounds like it’s not even a thing. I do not cry – at least, not to excess. If I’m threatened, I start stocking up my arsenal (literally, there is a Taser on the table next to me right now, left over from a week ago). In essence, when I need to, I do what needs to be done. That’s the way it’s been since 1997, and until recently, I’ve seen no reason to change it.
It’s served me well in many cases. I’m the girl you want around you in a crisis. If things go to shit, I just fix them – I don’t sit around and cry “woe is me”. And when people start throwing drama at me, I’d sooner prefer to just walk away from it, too. I do not do well when people cry at me, or on me. I do not know what to do with it. Some call me a robot, a sociopath, even. I am not a robot. I am just as capable of feeling, and being emotional, as anyone else. I just learned, at around the age of fourteen or fifteen, that crying and feeling crappy was not going to make me any safer. In fact, crying and feeling crappy ultimately made me less safe – because when you are emotional, you become distracted. When you become distracted, you miss things. When you miss things, at least in the world I lived in then, it’s game over. Sometimes in the worst of ways. You, ultimately, make a choice – when shit hits the fan, you rise to the occasion or you fall victim to it. I’m not a victim. I’ve chosen to rise.
That said, sometimes choosing to rise means that you sacrifice a little of yourself. Not inasmuch as you don’t “feel” anymore, you just stop paying attention to it. You start to relish in the ability to just keep moving, despite everything else, and it becomes your mantra. People, then, in general, respond to that, as they respond to everything. But not always positively. They go to you in a crisis, that’s true, but because you are so level-headed, they don’t necessarily know what to say to you when you are not in crisis mode, because YOU forget how to interact with people when you are not in crisis mode. Like it or not, choosing to rise to the occasion means that, to one degree or another, you put up walls – intentionally or otherwise – that people must then penetrate. And the longer that you’ve had to rise above things, the thicker those walls become.
I’ve been considering, lately, the need to change this behavior. I don’t want to stop being a badass entirely. Being a badass is how I’ve survived all this time, and it is how I continue to function in situations that are less than pleasurable to me. I don’t want to lose my ability to thrive in the face of adversity, I don’t want to become a drama queen (which is the opposite extreme to being a badass). But I’m starting to wonder if my being a badass is hindering my ability to be what I want to be. I’m starting to wonder if my aloofness is, in essence, becoming a turnoff.
I am considering something – something that is going to put me in a very vulnerable position. It scares the crap out of me, honestly. Because doing this, essentially, is, to me, the same as putting it all out there, on the line. Baring it all for someone else. Showing them the real “me,” the motives, the emotion, the actual truth of how I feel, what I want, and why. I do not scare easily. This, though, petrifies me. Because if I do this, and I think I am going to, I am willingly walking up the scaffold, kneeling, and making it entirely possible to have my head cut off. I have done this only once before in my life – it did not end well. I do not know how it will end this time, but maybe that’s where the badass part comes in. It is acknowledging that I could be hurt, deeply, by doing this, but being brave enough to do it all the same. Not because I will feel it any less, not because I am immune to anything – I am not. That’s the funny thing. Badasses aren’t immune to feeling at all, and sometimes we feel things more deeply than anyone could possibly imagine. No, not because of any of this, but because I know that if I do not, then I will never say what needs to be said.
So when I choose to say it, I’ll say it. And then I’ll say nothing more. I’ll kneel. And I’ll wait for the decision, whatever it is.