Hard Things

Thinking about the necessity of holding two conflicting forces at one time.

Our lives are never one thing. We’re complicated, and so are our thoughts and ideas. Some of us have the ability to comfortably accept that truth and others don’t.

Someone told me recently that I’m part of the 10% of people who want to have challenging conversations and sit in difficult emotions. They said that most people don’t function that way and I should simply recognize that it’s a rare trait I have. I should let the others be themselves.

Nah.

I’m thankful that I do have that kind of personality. Something in me is fundamentally curious about other people’s emotions and behaviours. For some reason I am comfortable in discomfort and accepting that life has its really crappy moments. I want to sit in those moments and feel it all so that I grow through it rather than avoid it.

But, at the risk of appearing chauvinistic, we should all be like that.

We should all be practising genuine curiosity as much as possible. If someone says or does something that confuses you, or rubs you the wrong way, ask them to say more. Get into it. It can be really horrible and unstable, yes. But we too often seek the easy way out of difficult things by ignoring, deflecting, minimizing, or invalidating people’s realities. The thing is, though, that the difficult things are the most rewarding. They can be, at least, if you approach hard things with genuine curiosity and respect.

As an artist I try to create from a difficult, ambiguous place. The most beautiful moments in theatre are those that are most honest. And when we’re honest, when we tell the truth and confront what’s actually real within us, we often notice contradictions. “You were behaving differently the other day, what changed?” “You said this thing once… why are you saying this other thing now?” Because the more we grow, the more we change our perceptions of ourselves. We’re walking contradictions… and even though facing that fact is hard, we have to face it to be honest. Yesterday’s post, for example, was all sunshine and rainbows. Today, as you can tell, I’m a bit more biting. It happens. And that’s what’s so gosh darn exciting about the creative process.

And about life, I guess.

I’m not going to stay quiet simply because I have the type of ~personality~ that can handle challenging conversations and others don’t. I’d rather be in a world of truth rather than a world of lies, and as a creative person I am shaping the world I want to see. Bring on the hard things.

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