“Anytime the world sees you as just one thing, it’s exhausting, because you aren’t just one thing, and it’s very difficult to have to constantly meet someone’s expectations. Someone’s simplistic, less than complexly-human definition of personhood, is exhausting to have to live inside.”
– John Green
There’s an unavoidable, honest, deep-felt sigh that follows when someone finally says, “You look tired.” It’s as if your soul, delighting in being finally uncovered, joyously betrays the ‘I’m good’ lie you just spoke in obligatory reply to the ‘Hello’ with which you were greeted. Our personal rat-races are built on such deceptions – meant to convey sincerity and care, but mostly just regulated to the realm of polite, social etiquette.
Productivity, my Stockholm lover;
Verily, your name is weariness.
This morning, I did something I’ve never done before: I cried for an actor.
I’m not one to follow celebrity gossip or obsess over the lives of Hollywood stars. I’m not even one who’s overly excited to get autographs from the stars who’ve played my favourite television and movie characters. And unlike a friend of mine, I don’t have a list of the young and famous that I pray regularly for (though perhaps, more of us should). But this morning, while eating breakfast, I found myself crying and I didn’t know why. I prayed about it, and realized, I was grieving.
The news of Robin William’s death by suicide last night crashed through the internet like a storm. For many of us, though we didn’t ever meet him or talk to him, he held a special place in our hearts. In his roles as John Keating (Dead Poets Society), Mrs. Doubtfire, the Genie (Aladdin), Hunter Patch Adams (Patch Adams), and many more, Williams didn’t just steal the show; he stole our hearts. He gravitated towards roles that called out our hearts’ desire for love and beauty and passion and joy and acceptance.
I saw this image come through my news feed this morning. And it angered me (if you posted it, this isn’t an attack against you; this picture just started a morning-long conversation in my head). It’s a cute picture, and it’s a cute sentiment. The idea is that ‘she’ makes everything better. ‘She’ cancels out the negative thoughts and self-talk in his mind. Essentially, she saves him.
Just like that terrible movie, A Walk To Remember. Again, a cute movie, but like so many movies, idealizes a view of relationships that is actually quite destructive (I realize I’ve scandalized a lot of you by now). That movie, like this image, sets my blood on fire. And here’s why:
It is extremely selfish and a terrible burden to lay on someone you love to expect them to save you.