top of page
  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

If I never received any validation for who I truly am, if I never received any support at all, would I have the courage to be this Coco?

February 25, 2019

I drank yesterday. I wasn’t intending to. Well, I probably was intending to. It wasn’t so very bad. I was home by 7:30, slept until about 3 this morning. Now I’m up drinking tea and eating toast. Best remedy.

I went mad with the texting at the bar. I do that. But I went mad and open and out there with my two good friends, men friends, that I’ve known for 14 years. I may just have gone too far. I’ll find out. But I may just have gone too far.

I had a long conversation with my niece, Paisley, about it. She was in the text group. She knows everything that went down. That woman is so smart! I want to be like her when I grow up. She is endlessly supportive of me and the transformation I’ve undergone since moving to Louisville. She encourages me to just keep being me and keep living real. She tells me to embrace the becoming of me.

I wonder if we really have the option to be anything we truly aren’t. Even when we’re attempting to reign ourselves in, that is still a part of who we are. Even when we’re not trying to be “the real me”, we are being the real me.

Tamping down on who we really are requires all-consuming effort. Endlessly worrying about the reactions of others to who we are is just as dangerous. Trust me on this. I’ve made it my life long endeavor to mold and shape my true self into a someone that will always be loved. The energy expended is deadly, to the soul. And in the end, it just does not work. Our friends, as well as our foes, see the truth, and we are exposed. Is that a bad thing?

I have self-esteem issues, have had them my entire life. I’m less concerned now, at this point in my life, with how I look. But I’m still plagued with uneasiness about the person I am. And certainly the person I am becoming. That person terrifies me! But that me that is becoming, she is unstoppable with the change. Yet still, I am constantly fretting about how to be, how to act, how to speak; desperately worried the people I hold dearest will shun me. Shun me for being me. And some do. Most do not. Most either lovingly tolerate me, or out and out cheer me on.

My good friend told me yesterday I am fabulous and wonderful and empowered! I’m an inspiration! A joy! I don’t feel those things on the inside. Sometimes, but not often. Not often without being told. I revel in validation. Crave it. Sometimes I fear I live only for it. That’s also most deadly to the soul.

How much of “the real me” is the real me, versus what others mirror back to me about me? And if I’m only ever reflected back in a funhouse mirror, how does that change how I am the me inside me? Is the me inside wholly dependent upon my interpretation of how others see me? Certainly my behavior is impacted by other’s reactions. But is my true self altered? And further down that line of questions, is my true self a manifestation wholly of how others have mirrored me back to me?

If I never received any validation for who I truly am, if I never received any support at all, would I have the courage to be this Coco? I don’t know the answer to that question. Truly I do not. And I hope I never have to know. I hope I will always be loved.

That’s what we’re made for, to be in relationship. To love and be loved. When my single friends tell me they don’t need anyone, it’s a flat out lie. I scoff. I chortle. I sometimes try to persuade them of their wrong. But that’s a futile endeavor. The truth is, we are born with the need to need others. So wear your “I’m single and I’m fine being alone” bravado on your sleeve as much and as loudly as you wish. This is one universal truth that is undeniable.

We all want to love and be loved. We’re made for it. We may not have to be married, in a romantic relationship, but we cannot survive without our friends and supporters. We cannot pretend nothing affects us, that we are whole and complete within ourselves. Complete containment of self alone in self is simply not possible. It’s not life sustaining.

Yes, it’s good to get used to being alone. To make peace with alone, with singleness. It’s healthy to filter out the unhealthy. It’s positive to learn to be positive in and of ourselves. But the fact remains, we will simply cease to be without relationship. Like death, it’s not something anyone can effectively deny. To deny it, to live without it, either by chance or by choice, is to die.

Photo by Diogo Nunes on Unsplash



bottom of page