Friday, June 26, 2009

The writing's on the wall

There's something special about the last stall at the back of one of the ladies rooms at my school.

If you should happen upon it, there, you will find a wall full of writing - hopes, dreams, fears, quotes, advice, awkward questions...everything. Contrary to what you might have seen way back in elementary or high-school, most of the messages are positive and reassuring. None of that "Molly + Jake = True Love" business. Individuals have written about abusive boyfriends/parents, friendships going awry, body image and weight problems to name a couple. In the end, the wall usually gets so full of messages that they get painted over and so, the writers start again.

writing on the wall - jugiong

I wanted to discuss this because I think something this simple says a lot about how we live our lives.

Why is it that we find it so much easier to gain advice from a stranger in a bathroom stall than it is to get it from people that know us, care about us and genuinely (at times) want to help?

The obvious answer would be because we don't want the people we love to be disappointed by us or judge us. If this is the case, couldn't the argument be made that our friends/family care about us and should do so unconditionally regardless of what they may think or feel and so, one should feel safe speaking to them? Anyone would know that it just doesn't work that way; we hide parts of ourselves from those we love and can be, at times eager to share it with a stranger anonymously just to let it out. Isn't it strange that our relationships work this way?

(Photo Credit: yewenyi)

1 comment:

  1. I think strangers can be more brutally honest and objective, too, so maybe that is why it is easier to listen to their advice? I know when I was younger I never wanted to listen to my mom or dad's advice because they were my parents and I didn't like the idea of them being right all the time :) and sometimes I still find myself feeling that way, like they don't really get what I am going through because they are old, haha, and its been a long time since they've been in my shoes, etc... I do sometimes listen to their advice but more often I talk to my best friend. I can usually put it all out there with her, but it is true that even sometimes I don't tell her everything. I think everyone hides part of themselves from the world. and it is like you said, sometimes it is the hardest to be completely real with the people you love most because you don't want to let them down or feel their judgment, even if it does come from a place of love.

    ok, that's enough rambling from me. just thought I'd give my two cents :)


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