Shopping at Totokaelo
Photograph | Talitha Bullock
During this period of extensive introspection, I've been getting to know myself a little better. I've spent so much energy being the person every one wanted me to be and not the person I truly am. It's inspiring to be like, "I want to do this!" ... and do it. How sad is that? Yep. Recently, I found the strength to read one of the journals that my mother kept and had been writing for me (and one for each of my brothers) since the day she found out she was pregnant with me to the the last couple of months of her life. They're truly such a beautiful gift, I hope to do the same for my children. One of her last entries, a final letter to me, she wrote about how she felt that I was stuck, that I'd never fully recover or grow close to anyone after her death. That it would shake me to the core. It did. It was then that I finally discovered that that was exactly what was my problem. I keep so much from people, how I truly feel, how I carry my grief with me, how I've been suffering with depression for most of my adult life. I've grown quite good at it - pretending I'm okay. I was okay with coasting, it seemed to work. Problem is, that person that people think they're getting to know, learning to love is not the real me - I have baggage. That's when the problems start. It's not fair of me, and I'm understanding that. Every one has their issues, and maybe I'm being too hard on myself. It's not that I am being another person, fake, I just haven't met anyone who's willing to stick around when I get emotional, share my story. They all run away, or can't handle it. These situations have trained my pretending-everything-is-okay tendencies. The truth is, no one is perfect and by pretending I'm okay, people feel like they cannot connect with me, fully. We connect with one another throughout shared experiences. I'm human, I have flaws.