I want to talk about the F word. You know the one I mean, I used to use it all the time. Yes, I know it is seen as inappropriate in most every single circumstance. Oh wait, I can see from your face you think I am talking about that F word, Feelings, no not that one. Yes, Feelings are considered one of the F words for sure. People hate feelings; hate talking about them, hate feeling feelings both bad ones and even good feelings if they come at an inconvenient time. Depending on whom you date or are friends with you can be accused by your mate of being too emotional, of having to many Feelings. That is a major dis to make you feel needy. The reality of that is that our feelings are triggering feelings in the other person and making them feel uncomfortable. Thus they would like to shut that nonsense down right quick. But hey that is not the F word I am talking about today, today I am talking about the new other, other F word: Fine.
Most of the time when we are asked how we are we say, “I”m fine.” Not me. Usually I have an aversion to this F word. I respond, “so far so good”, “I feel like crap”, or something else reflective of how I feel, so more often than not people understandably don’t ask. Most folks ask how we are as if it as an extension of “hello” and it means nothing, they don’t really want to know. On the other hand, people who say they are Fine when answering that question are generally lying. It goes back to Monty Python’s Holy Grail movie scene where the knights are sword fighting and one chap is whittled down to a stump still screaming at his opponent, “it‘s only a flesh wound.” That is the visual I get when someone says they are Fine. It is generally uttered with a sigh or through tight lips, none of those tones or gestures demonstrates being fine in any shape or form. “Fine” is is a deflection, a minimizer, a neutral way of saying “can we move on from me now?” That deflection also disconnects us from each other and ourselves, minimizing and shutting down what is. Whatever it is, it came the surface and to be for a reason. You can only avoid so long before things manifest in an ugly fashion.
I am not advocating telling the entire world how you are really are unless of course you are Kim Kardashian. The teller in the bank does not need to know you are having some red, scaly, itchy issues south of the border or that you are sorry you tried the tuna surprise at the diner for lunch because generally tuna does not come with tiny antennas. What I am suggesting is that when a friend, a loved one, a confidant asks you how you are they really might want to know. They might want to hear about how you truly are instead of some fictionalized version of what you hoped they would want to hear. If you don’t want to talk about it, well you can say that too. We have that prerogative unless we live in a hostile environment and I am not talking about The Housewives of Trailer-park Glam somewhere either. I am an adult, not grown up mind you that is overrated, but an adult which means I get to use my big-girl words and tell my truth. It does not have to be anyone else’s but it is mine, and people can do with it what they choose, that is their freedom as an adult.
People either step closer when we show them who we are or step away. Those are always the two options available. By not showing people who we are we diminish and undermine ourselves and how wonderful, weird and magical we truly are. By only show the pretty, the good, the normal, and the perfect we set ourselves and everyone within our touch up for failure. Let me just say this, normal and perfect are fiction. And if they were not fiction, would you want to sit next to someone who is normal and perfect at a wedding? Of course you wouldn’t want to. I cannot think of anything as boring, beige and frankly creepy as what normal or perfect would translate into… that has a creep factor of a trillion.
When someone tells me they are fine, mostly I hear the translation and it’s an acronym: FINE = F@*%ed Individual Needs Escape. The acronym generally aligns with their energy, demeanor or juju they are giving off as they tell me how “fine” they are. What I am really hearing from them is “Jane, get me off this crazy thing!” That said, I am never sure whether to address what they say or the great blast of “I am soooooooo not fine” creeping crud they are emitting. This is not a true Emily Post conundrum; not nearly as bad as having your shoes and belt mismatched or the wearing white after Labor Day debacle, so I generally muddle through. I don’t understand it though. I fought my whole life to be able to tell the truth, be who I was, talk or don’t talk, to do what felt best. To be okay with whatever or whoever I was at any given moment, to truly love my inner bowl of light, my essence, my humanity regardless of my semi-issue with bloating. Self-reflection is a wonderful tool in working toward Willie’s words; “To thine own self be true.” I think we need to steer home, to begin looking within and consider dropping our veils in order to be true and real or we run the risk of not being at all. And yes, I did just quote George Jetson and Shakespeare in one paragraph to make my point, like you didn’t already know I am just that kind of girl. Come on folks, embrace the good F words the ones we bejewel our middle fingers for and let the rest go.