Wanting to Be Admired

One day, after showering and before morning tea, I sent a friend a great article I’d read.

I thought she’d appreciate it. And I also wanted her to think I was the kind of person who read and was the first to know about articles like this.

Ahh, me.

It’s a kind of performance. Actors perform to convince the audience to see characters a certain way. Human performs to convince others to see them a certain way. It’s as common as whiskey in a country song.

I walked to my coworking space under a gray sky. I was trying to prove myself; a part of me didn’t think I was enough. But I could spend all morning, every morning sending impressive articles and it wouldn’t, couldn’t prove me out of that not-enough feeling.

Inside, I brewed my tea. There is overlap between who I am and how I wanted to be thought of: I did enjoy the article. But did I need to advertise that? Couldn’t that come out organically, when and if it needed to?

I folded my hands around the tea mug. My palms, fingers loosened, softened. It’s okay to want to be liked, admired. It’s also okay to want a cherry-red convertible I can’t afford and to want to snatch that last jug of my favorite milk before that other shopper does. The work is not to let those wants run roughshod over us.

Others came into the coworking space. We talked about the gray skies and the spring that winks and blows kisses, but never fully arrives. I sat at my desk, holding my tea and all my wants. And knowing, perhaps more than before, that my ongoing work is to decide which wants to move on and which wants to lovingly pass by.

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