Last week a friend and I had a deep conversation about what it must feel like to be inside the figurative closet, to be honest mostly just to yourself because the consequences of being honest with other people might gravely affect your life.
Can you even imagine? The daunting weight of having to lie about who you are? To not be able to tell your own truth? It feels heavy on my chest just considering it. And I realize that closets hold all kinds of truths. The ones about who we love or want to love. The things we believe and don’t believe. The goals we know we want to go after but haven’t yet. The things we’ve done that we regret. The things we haven’t done that we regret. The trajectories of our lives we originally agreed to but can no longer feel. The people who’s hearts we might break when we tell the truth. The people. Oh, the people, you guys. We all do it for the love for all of our people. We stay quiet for them, for we know intuitively how the truth can change things.
But sometimes we forget that it might change them in good ways, too.
Remember that feeling right after high school, when everything is new and scary and you’re kinda still wondering if your friends will still be your friends 25 years later and if you’ve chosen the right major to study and you know the next thing is unknown but you’re going to do it anyway? And it’s thrilling, but it’s scary, too?
Then you go. You leave. You may not go far, or as far as you’d hoped, but you go. Because you have to and you must. Everything has changed. And then do you remember how your adult was probably pretty excited for you? They were nervous and sad and happy and excited and thrilled and grieving and joyous and depressed. But they knew you had to go forward anyway. And so they supported it.
This is what happens to the closets we all spend too much time inside. It has a light switch that most certainly should be turned on. We believe you when you tell us who you are. We believe you when you show us who you are, too. You get to decide. You are you, even if it’s not time yet to turn that light on. And most likely, your people believe you, too. And most likely, they already know. They’re waiting for you to flip the switch.
And they’ll believe you, too.
X0, A + A