A friend asked me the other night how I ended up being the way I am. I didn’t know how to qualify the question so I don’t think I was able to answer it properly. Apparently, some regard me as being ‘cool’, but it’s a vague concept that I refuse to accept. Nonetheless, people always say that one is shaped by experiences, both good and bad. It means that if I want to attempt to answer the question of how I got to be this way, I will have to reveal the very bad and the fairly good.
Who I am was forged by loss and heartbreak, by death and immeasurable pain, by being left alone by people who mattered to me the most. And so, there is nothing remarkable about me. I am what’s left when nothing else works out and when everything falls apart. There is nothing to understand about me, because I’m what happens when people stop trying.
Luckily, who I am include not only what happened to me, but also who. In the midst of all the loved ones I’ve lost by whatever means through the years, there are also extraordinary people who have chosen to stay for some reason I have yet to figure out. Is there such a thing as an emotional defibrillator? It’s when you feel that your heart is about to give up because grief is heavy, and then someone pumps up your heart so fiercely that it takes a moment for you to discern whether it’s painful or beautiful.
In the end, of course, it’s both. And that’s what the people who are currently in my life do for me. I consider who we are—all of us—as a combination of awesome and awful people who happened in our lives. It’s terrible, yes, but an incredible reason to keep going. And it beats being labeled as merely ‘cool’, yes?