An Open Letter To Those Who Feel “Too Much”

Watercolor by Patricia Teo, print for sale  here

Watercolor by Patricia Teo, print for sale here

I was raised in a somewhat traditional family. The values were always based on love, understanding and kindness. But all that inside a patriarchal sexist society. I can’t really blame my family for being extremely intolerant, but they do not seem to understand the prejudice inside of them – of us – and fight it.

I, on the other hand, fight it daily. I guess I fight it a bit too much.

I am the youngest one, from a different generation than my siblings. I am the 20 something who wants to brace the universe with love and acceptance. I want to – single handily if I must – save everybody from suffering. I am aware of its impossibility. I am also aware that, as the beautiful Audrey once said, the word impossible says itself “I’m possible”. I am seen as a dreamer. They say I live with my head on the clouds, with rainbows and unicorns.

I don’t. Not exactly. I know perfectly well that this world is a shitty place. That the human race is vicious. It is a like an autoimune disease: it wants to destroy itself idiotically, because it thinks – wrongly – that some of us are different. But are we? Of course. We all are completely different. Even identical twins are. But does that make any of us right? Any of us better?

Since I was little, I never understood greed. I thought that my wanting to know everything about the world was it. But then I figured that I only wanted to help the others with my knowledge, not be powerful. I don’t care about being rich. I just hate that there are poor people in need. I simply cannot understand why people with so much money want to keep it for themselves and not help the others.

And it all makes me so… angry.

One of the choices I made as a teenager was to surround myself with arts, as I found it was the only way I could be myself. Acting, painting, dancing, singing. That was how I freed myself from wanting to be what people expected me to. How I found my voice, who I was and what I loved. Well, how I began to, at least. But it also introduced me to a new world of people who were trying to figure out how to live as a minority (in acceptance, not necessarily in number) in a society which despises them. I saw how they were just like me, regardless their gender, sexuality, skin color or wealth. We are all human beings. We all deserve the same chances. We all deserve the same rights.

So why I, when applying for a job, have more chances of getting it than a black girl with a resumé as good as mine? Or why a man, with the same job as me gets a larger pay check? Why am I allowed to kiss a boy on the streets – or marry him if I want to -, but a gay couple is judged by the same acts? Why did I always get Barbies and not HotWheels? Why could I play with my neighbour’s HotWheels if I wanted to but he couldn’t play with my Barbies? Why do I get to use the ladies room without question and a trans woman  not? Are we not the same gender? Why a guy looks weird at me if I hold the door open for him at a date? Is being polite only for man? Why can a skinny girl use a crop top and I can’t? I do anyways, but I get judged. O know I do.

I question why the hell am I bellow men and thin people. I am a person just the same. But worse even, why am I above gay, trans, black, poor (a much painful “etc.” must be put here) people?!

I know I don’t really know how it is to suffer as they do. But I know what suffering is and I know it is horrible. I know that no one should ever feel like that. But I do. Too much. I guess I love the people who surrounds me so much that I feel for them as hard as I feel for myself. And it hurts.

Sometimes, I wish I could be apathetic regarding minorities as much people are. But then I remember that they are in this position not only because of the ones who rule above them, but because of the ones who do nothing also. And I can’t bare to be part of the repression. I can’t bare to see people getting hurt, people getting their right to being happy with themselves taken away from them.

Why was Lennon singing about imagination? Why is it not reality yet? Why do people say we’ve advanced so much in this century if we can’t even accept one another?

I fight my prejudices everyday. I try to make at least one stranger smile everyday. I make real compliments to people. I say “please”, “thank you” and “excuse me” all the time. I get out of my comfort zone to make others happy. Because I know that, in this society, my comfort is lazy and selfish. I fight it everyday. And I can’t understand people who do the complete opposite. And, even if it doesn’t affect me directly, I get mad. I get so sad.

Maybe I feel too much. Maybe I should care more about my happiness than the others’. But how can I be truly happy while the others are sad? I guess you can say I carry the weight of world on my shoulders. I like to think I’m holding it by one of its strings, bringing it – with lots of help – to the rainbow I’m sitting on.

Written by Batata Rodriguez