In the age of the ever present internet, I often feel like I am giving a TED Talk to myself. Like I’m an expert on everything. Anything. Just ask me and I’ll tell you, I find myself whispering into my own ear. It’s as if I’ve saved these moments up like trinkets in a souvenir chest, waiting for the perfect moment to pick out the just right thing and display it with a flourish.

Here, I’ll say, here is the truth.

Of course it’s elegantly presented and I’m pacing just the right amount across my small red circle planted smack in the middle of the too large stage. I use all the right hand gestures and lean forward enough to look engaged but not far enough to come across as domineering.

It’s all practiced, yes. But is it all bullshit? Can anything truly be a farce? Can anything be real?

I don’t know. I suspect the audience will tell me.

If I could tell my 16 year old self anything…They’re rolling their eyes now, wishing they’d chosen another session with someone smarter, more original, more memorable. But they’ll be clapping at the end. I’ll shove my tidy little message into the not so tidy cracks in their still sixteen year old heart. And they’ll feel it. They’ll remember.

That pain you think you deserve? You don’t. When someone hurts you, it’s a reflection of who they are-not who you are.

My 26 year old self knows this with enough confidence to say it to a whole room full of imaginary people. Both of these things are truthful but they’re not exactly true. I can sell them without believing in them. It’s not snake oil as much as it’s a coconut oil cure-all. It’s not randomized or controlled but you’ll see it on click bait until it becomes a kind of fact.

You can buy it. Hold on to that receipt.

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