Window Dressing

window box

Charleston is full of gorgeous, well-maintained, overflowing, colorful window boxes. They dress the city in picture perfect color and texture, leaving the viewer to only imagine what's on the inside - a plentiful life filled with joy, warm meals, and loving hearts.

But as we all know, sometimes what's on the outside does not always reflect what is on the inside. We package ourselves neatly up to the world because the world doesn't always want to hear the ugly truth. We dress up all fancy - jewels and all - showing the world that the outside is what really counts. That way, meandering passers-by can feel good as they fantasize about our imaginary, perfectly curated lives that we present.

I have found that people don't always want to hear the big stuff. "How are you?" usually means "Tell me you are fine and we can both get on with our lives." But sometimes we want to show our real selves to the world - the scars and the pain we lug around every day are real and big. The battle we are fighting is huge. It's okay to need help with that. It's okay to look for solidarity in the eyes of a neighbor, a friend or a passer-by. Chances are they are just waiting to share their struggles too.

While I think some occasions call for keeping your cards close to you (the whole world doesn't always have to know your dirty laundry), I also think it's okay to share your pain on some levels. Because in that vulnerable, confusing space, we may just find the comfort of accepting ourselves just as we are - with or without that window dressing.