Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Off Script

Something happens when you open up about your life with someone else. I have perfected the art of coming across a certain way. A polished and deliberate kind of way. The kind of polished that, if I really stopped to think about it, must make others see straight through me...and yet they don't seem to. I must be good at it. It's an art form really. I am confident and articulate, deliberate with my words and careful with everything that comes out of my mouth. It's as if much of my day is a different Act of a play that I have written and memorized. 

But something happens when I go off script. 
When I stumble over words and fumble with my thoughts. Something happens when, try as I might, I can't articulate my words with ease and coherence, because they are coming from a place that is foreign to me. 
My words are not going through the robotic mechanisms of the perfectly crafted factory that is my brain.
No, these words are coming from an undiscovered land where the terrain is so messy that I can't see what's ahead of me in enough time to perfect my response. This landscape is unfamiliar to me and yet it's as if I've been here before. 

I try to find my way back to the path that is known and comfortable, and yet the thing about feelings is that they demand to be felt. And so even as I try to come across as the me that everyone is familiar with, these feelings are making demands upon me that I am struggling to ignore.
I try to articulately speak over them, but my attempts are futile.
And so I go off script. 
I feel my heartbeat quicken, knowing that I have not  preplanned my words as they roll off my tongue. These words are raw and unfiltered and they frighten me.
They speak a truth that longs to be listened to; that longs to be known.
They are the words that make up the truest core of myself, not the impression of myself that I want others to know.
I fumble. I'm not good at this.
I shift in my seat. I left my comfort zone several stops backs. 
What comes out isn't polished or pre-screened.
It is messy.
I went off script today. 
My heartbeat has yet to return to normal, for the adrenaline of traversing unfamiliar territory is powerful.
I battle myself--wanting to smooth the rough edges and yet forcing myself to let them be. For the rough edges are far more honest than the glistening gems that I pass off as my truth.
I went off script today and let someone hear parts of my story that still seem foreign to me because I've spoken them so few times. 
Some people crave the out-of-control feeling that comes along with going off script. I write scripts because I despise that feeling.
But that still, small voice gently reminded me that I was never in control to begin with. My script-writing is a facade, for I've never been the one who holds the pen. 

I believed my own lies of a polished life. It seems like a raw deal--as if I am being asked to trade diamonds in for dust. 
But I went off script today and told a messy story about a messy life and I came out the other side, all of my parts in tact. Turns out I've been battling dragons that exist only in my mind.

I set the script ablaze and smile a crooked smile as I realize that I am not less of myself as I feared, but more of myself than I ever knew existed. 
I've no doubt that I'll try to climb back into the burning embers to retrieve the thing that is most comfortable to me, no matter the burn marks that it leaves...but for a brief moment in time I know that I went off script and survived to tell about it. 

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