She texted me about my writing and as I sat there typing reply after reply back to her, I suddenly and sorrowfully realized the nature of the words that filled my phone’s screen. “Thank you. I appreciate it. I should fix that. Me. Me. Me.” What about her? What about her circumstances, her dreams, her deadlines? I finally sent the questions after there was a noticeable end in our conversation. And, although I’m glad I at least sent something, I know at the same time that it was neither soon enough nor engaging enough to truly consider my outreach authentic.
For some reason, my mind drifted to Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton; their new song came on the radio earlier in the day. In all things pop culture, I’m normally several breakups behind. For Christina, I’m still stuck on Jordan Bratman. And so I thought about Christina and what it must have been like to meet Blake – to form a duo so out of the ordinary of musical harmonies – after a somewhat recent emergence from a break-up.
Christina and I live completely different lives, but something tells me that our hearts break similarly. I remember what it’s like to emerge from heartache – the seemingly endless black hole of self-pity and me, me, me – and what it was like to come across someone, like Blake, so out of the ordinary of our normal social circles, yet evermore genuine and humble. A silent sign to our damaged selves that there is still good in the world.
We are taught that only we, as individuals, can stand up for ourselves. Yet, also taught to be compassionate and selfless towards others. I think about these things when I struggle to find the balance between living for myself and also beyond myself. How do I stay selfish in myself, my goals and protecting my heart, but also selfless enough to engage thoroughly with others?
It’s been only hours since the texting conversation with her, but I know that I must carry on. I must pursue my dreams and also follow along with hers. Not all of our conversations will be perfect, but if their nearly perfect enough, I’ll feel the good and authenticity in all of its glimmer and Christina & Blake star-status. And, for right now, that’s enough to balance me.