23 March, 2011

i try not to do this very often,

however. this blog is a journal for my family, and i think i just had a very profound thought. it must be recorded.

gage fell asleep, i went outside and laid in the sun, and in that half-asleep heat coma,
i boarded the train of old memories.

"hello," one said, "would you care to join me for a little stroll around your first semester of college?"
"i would indeed," i replied, "after you."

i remembered lots of pasta, watching an entire season of 'gilmore girls' in a weekend, and lots of early morning french classes. i also remembered the very first real confronation i ever experienced (outside of sibling fights).

britney, let's call her, since every other girl at school was named britney, was one of my four roommates and she had a real problem with me. close to the end of the semester, i finally broke down in pitiful little sniffles and asked her
"what did i ever do to you?"

"you never did anything... it's just who you are. it's you."

she further explained that whenever i was around her, i made her feel uncool.
that my existence caused her to feel like she wasn't as popular as she wanted to be, and because of how i made her feel, i made her act differently around guys, which caused her to have a lower self-esteem because she felt herself acting differently around them.
that's some heavy psychology for a 17-year-old like me to handle - especially because i'd never heard "brooke" and "cool" in the same sentence before.

now. here is my profound thought. i don't remember how i replied - i remember that there were tears, a slammed door, and i spent the rest of the semester at my best friend, rose's apartment a few building's down.

And I wondered, what should I have said?

"well," i replied, "i would have said - 'eleanor roosevelt said that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. it stands to reason that 'inferior' can be replaced by any other adjective... such as 'uncool' or 'unpopular'. i am who i am, don't try to make me dim my light so you can shine. don't blame me for your insecurities..."
i was really, really getting into it with mentally swinging hips and snapping fingers when this little voice piped in,

"do you really think you should have said that?"

and then, here is the real moment of profundity:

if someone is insecure enought to blame another person for how they feel and then how they react to that feeling, all they need is love. just an outpouring of love.

"no," i finally consented, "i should have just said 'i'm so sorry, i think you're wonderful.'" and then i should have walked away.

i recently had an almost identical experience wherein someone told me that who they interpret me to be has caused them to feel a certain way and has thus caused them to act a certain way.
of course at the time i was a blubbering mess and acted very much like the confused, frustrated girl i used to be. i used to have a really sharp tongue, i still often do. but luckily my inner repitition of 'don't retaliate, don't retaliate' worked, and the words of angry lava and accusations stayed at bay... maybe that's why i had the stomach flu last week.

ANYWAY, why oh why didn't i just realize at the time that anyone who is willing to call into question another person's character because it makes them act a certain way only needs my love - not my anger, my judgement, my inteligent responses that will make them see the light... (i know, i know.)

now of course i believe that there are poisonous relationships that require distance and some really good, mostly impersonal interaction before they can heal completely.
and perhaps this is one of those relationships. which is fine.

i always thought my 'aha' moment would be when i finally snapped and stopped letting people talk to me unkindly, stopped letting people take advantage of me, stopped letting people act as if they deserve some say in my life when they really don't... but no. this aha moment was pretty humbling.

the world doesn't really need me to be a champion of my rights.
it just needs me to love.


  1. Brooke! I can't tell you how true this post really is! I have dealt with many sets of roommates after that first semesters and have found it to be so true! I love you and I love reading your blog! And by the way, you have a great ability to express yourself through words.

  2. You are such a ray of sunshine! Keep spreading the love! Thanks for sharing this great story!

  3. wow Brooke, well said, not just for you but for all of us, you really are an amazing person!

  4. "Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone." Tuesdays with Morrie. Missin you

  5. I agree whole heartedly! :)

  6. I don't read blogs very often, as evidenced by the fact that I am reading this nearly 2 months after you posted it. But I was so touched by this post that I copied & pasted it into a document in my "Family History" file. Thanks for being you, Brookie!


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