Interestingly, over the past few weeks I have been contacted by several people who are concerned for me. I can only assume most of this stems from my most recent blog post about pants. Extremely interesting to me is the lack of interest my post about suicide caused versus the amount over wearing slacks (not jeans – these are nice dress slacks) to church.
Before I start my tirade I want to say thank you to the people who have contacted me and actually been willing to put their name on that contact. I may or may not always agree with what you say, but I appreciate that you are willing to engage with me or at least contact me with your name so that, should we both be interested, we can have a real conversation about the issues that I’ve brought up. These issues are very, very important to me, and I’m grateful for your interest (whether or not we have a conversation, because I know sometimes I don’t have the energy, and sometimes you don’t have the energy).
Now, on to the rant.
On the one hand, I’m glad people care. On the other, way to choose what to care about. I’m thinking of ending my life? No big deal. Very few people reached out to me. Very few took the time to comment and tell me how they feel. But, I take a stand about women wearing pants to church, and suddenly people are concerned for my well-being, I’m being told I don’t “see” what I’m doing, that I’m heading “down a path” that can’t lead anywhere good, that I’m an “apostate” or that I’m simply being an idiot.
The very most interesting part to me about this whole situation is that there have been several people who have contacted me anonymously to tell me of their worry, concern, or disdain for me and my choices.
I don’t get it.
If you care, care out loud. If you really want me to know that I matter to you, stick your name on it. Call me on the phone. Email me or message me on FB or whatever it is you feel is the right way to contact me. But put your name on it. Stand behind your thoughts and feelings.
Do you worry I will disrespect you? Do you worry that you’ll hurt my feelings? Do you worry that I won’t like you any more? Or that I’ll put a curse on you (because obviously if I think women should be able to wear pants to church then I’m so far gone that I’m into black magic and those sorts of things now)? Do you worry that I’ll maybe even engage with you about your concerns? That maybe if I’m allowed to express my opinion to you personally, you might start to feel a tiny bit of empathy for me?
I’m a big girl. Turns out I’m even a grown-up. And I (usually – not always, but usually) know how to act like one. So if you hurt my feelings, or you make me mad, or you say something that I disagree with, give me the courtesy of assuming that I will handle it in a grown-up sort of way. I’m not interested in changing your opinion. I’m not interested in convincing you that I’m “right” and you’re “wrong”. I totally understand that your perspective and mine are vastly different. And I will give you the courtesy of allowing you to continue believing and thinking whatever you like without deciding you are an idiot or self-centered or anything, and especially without saying that to your face or behind your back. Whatever it is you’re worried about, stop it.
If you want to talk to me, please do. I engage with people on topics that I feel strongly about when I have the energy. If I don’t have the energy, I won’t (and I generally do get around to letting you know (sometimes it takes a LONG time but I do eventually get around to it)). It’s that simple. I’m not going to be mean to you, and I’m not going to start telling the whole world what a dork you are. I’m really not. If I was in 7th grade, maybe. I do recall doing some pretty idiotic things back then. But I like to think I’ve grown up enough to realize that my experience, my perception, my view, my life are not the only valid or real ones out there.
So please stop anonymously telling me what a mess I’m making of my life. Please own up to your words and actions. It’s tough to put much stock in something when you’re not even willing to let me know (privately) who you are. But even more frustrating is that you don’t trust me enough to be kind and civil to you. Give me some credit. I’m not that terrible.