Yesterday I found out I was a part of someone's success story-- but it wasn't in a way you might think. It's difficult to find a brief way to describe what I read other than I was written about anonymously yet the warped details of the account were put on full blast. How do you really react to someone who you hadn't given much of your energy to in a long, long time who's spreading lies about you and you saw it because your friends liked it? How do you react to someone twisting your words and interaction in such a way that shows your rapport as the motivation to "do great things"? It took me sleeping on it to conclude the reaction I had, to decide if it even deserved acknowledgement.
What I read proved to me that no matter how kind and genuine you are with someone, if they didn't get from you what they wanted they'll find a way to get it one way or another-- positive or negative or bold-faced lies. I feel like the lyrics from FourFiveSeconds. When I first heard that song I was fists in the air towards the sky saying "HOLY SHIT HOW DOES THIS SONG KNOW ME SO WELL?!" The first verse came in, "I think I've had enough, I might get a little drunk, I say what's on my mind, I might do a little time, Cause all of my kindness, is taken for weakness" I'm re-reading e-mails, recounting words said in person, the feeling of being afraid to put myself out there and finally coming around. Apologizing to people for my absence or lack of communication when I owed no apologies. Always trying to be kind when it's the last thing I want to be towards these people who've never shown me an ounce of caring. The cruel-sounding, made up version of me fit their narrative better than the truth. They just say I wanted something from them. I could never make it more clear than I want to make it now-- I have never in my life only approached someone because I wanted something from them.
See, the bane of my husband's existence is my inability to ask for help. I can be so obviously struggling and in pain but I refuse to wrangle someone else in. I would prefer to give others what I have than ask for something in return. I'll give you the shirt off my back. I'll give you the last $100 in my pocket just to know you'll be okay. I'll gift you my old camera and refuse you wanting to pay me back, because all I want is to see you getting to do something you love. I would take a bullet for you if you're my friend. Out of all of the things I've done without hesitating I've never regretted being kind, even when someone grossly misinterprets our interactions.
Then Kanye's verse in the song, "Woke up an optimist, sun was shining I'm positive, Then I heard you was talkin' trash, Hold me back I'm bout' to spaz" was absolutely me yesterday when I read that success story. If I'm nameless in this story am I nameless behind closed doors? As Kanye said, "See they want to buy my pride, but that just ain't up for sale". I have strong convictions, I love deeply, my heart isn't just on my sleeve my chest is wide open exposing my soul. My art is a reflection of myself. You see, I'm good with who I am. I don't rely on people who've never tried to get to know me. I don't need an elitist group determining my value. I'm intimidating and I get that. My passion for my art and my lust for life can get overwhelming for others. It's a fire that burns brightly and it scorches even me sometimes. I've always wanted to share that fire. To ignite the coals in another person's fire. I never rush to pour water on the fire if it gets out of control because that fire can create the embers of life, the embers the ashes come from, and the ashes we will rise from. This fire doesn't burn others and it doesn't allow others to put the fire out. We don't let the heat of the moment ignite a malicious flame.
Be a good person. Be someone who inspires not someone who grasps at others inspiration. Be someone who can make their own dreams come true. Please don't hitch your wagon to someone else's star.
You'll find the bond you can have with a kindred soul is better than riding the wave of each other's success. Live honestly not authentically. Honesty, heart, compassion, and perseverance are what being an artist and good person is about.