On Humanity

Humans are terribly, terrifyingly, brilliant creatures… and I want almost nothing to do with them.

I love people, the way they get passionate about things. When their eyes light up and they get a little hitch in their breathing because they’re talking so fast they can’t keep up with themselves trying to explain to you why they love whatever it is they’re doing so much, whether it be art or sports, or anything really. I love watching theater kids start talking about the role they play as if it were another person and then they start to lapse into that character’s pattern of speech like it’s a second part of themselves and music kids who start tapping or making the motions of playing their instrument to a beat in their headphones that the rest of the world can’t hear. The way a writer stares off dreamily into nothing that we can see, worlds playing in their head like a movie before their very eyes.

I love to listen to poets speak, every word carefully chosen, even in the heat of the moment as though they had a thesaurus taped to the inside of their contact lenses.

The way a painter describes colors and shape as though they were a blind person seeing life for the first time. They way an architect motions with their hands trying to show you in words and movements the grandness of their ideas.

Have you ever listened to a singer breath? Deep breathes to fill their lungs to produce sounds that you and I can only dream of.

The way a sculptors hands might look damaged, dry, and scarred, but you know that even if they crack and bleed they’ll just patch it up and keep going. The way an athlete who loves his sport will fall and skid on his face but get right back up and keep on running.

Humans are beautifully and wonderfully passionate about everything and anything.

People with dogs will do anything to see their four legged friend wagging their tail and happy and healthy. Cat lovers will do the same, anyone who loves their pet, really. We defend our pets like our own offspring.

Our children, though I have none, there is nothing more that I love than seeing the look on a child’s face when they discover their first passion. Whether that be books, dinosaurs, or that weird bug I don’t want anywhere near me or my ear thank you very much. The way a child looks at a dandelion and where an adult sees nothing but a weed they see a beautiful flower that now you have to put in the fancy vase your mother gave you because they picked it for you and you just HAVE to keep it for as long as it stays alive.

I love seeing children learn and read and become little people who can think for themselves.

And yet, I hide from people. Humans are good at picking out the things in the room that are different from them. We’re also good at making ourselves feel like we’re the one thing in the room that doesn’t belong.

Me… I’ve never been good at expressing my emotions. Happiness, passion, even heartache and sadness. I don’t like to laugh in front of people or cry or really do anything. Anger is something I can’t always control, but I don’t like to show emotion. My grandmother is convinced that I’m at least slightly autistic like my little brother, but nothing is proven and until they diagnose me I’m not, I’m just me. 

Part of me is afraid, afraid that one day they might see that I’m different, sense that I don’t feel the same things that they feel, that I don’t feel the things I love most about them and they’ll set me aside, ostracize me because I’m not like them and then I’ll never get to be around and see the things that I love most in this world, emotions and happiness.

I love the way people can be stubborn and determined, extremes of any kind are what make them human. I envy it and I avoid it, because I can’t return it, not the way they want me to. I don’t relate in like mind.

Have you ever googled “how to show emotion” or “how to be passionate”, how about “How to be impulsive?” I’ve searched for these answers and variations of these time and again with never the same answer returned.

It seems that no one can agree… people go to war over their different ideas of the best way to be human.

Some lay awake at night at war with themselves not certain if they were correct today.

Were they too kind, not kind enough? Did they do all that they could do? Should they still be up at their desk burning the midnight oil in a fit of creative passion? Were they wrong to quit that office job to pursue their love of art? Are they wrong to give up their art for a stable job? Should they have a child, should they not, the list goes on, worries and doubts and decisions to make.

Some manage to go through this life with such seeming certainty, never appearing to second guess themselves. While others, and I am often one of these, stumble of what to wear that day or eat for dinner, how to just say “hello.”

And it is all breathtaking and beautiful.

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