What Tyece Knows For Sure

As a 25-year-old, I’m bombarded with a lot of words about how there are few things I really know for sure. I’m told that about 85 percent of what I feel or think or believe I know to be true will somehow change as experience molds me. But, I try to ignore those supposed words of wisdom in favor of standing firm in the things I know, or at least the things I think I know.

One thing I know for sure is that life is full of contradictions.

I used to look at the world through a lens that was purely black and white, believing everything was either/or, this or that, right or wrong, up or down, good or bad. I probably danced through most of my college career with that narrow-minded view until I graduated and life sucker punched me with all of its complexities. I now know that life is packed to the brim with a lot of gray areas, a lot of things that don’t fall into any singular category. Because people are complex, life is colorful and emotions are fragile.

I’ve stopped beating myself up for the contradictions. I’ve stopped cashing in a one-way ticket on a guilt trip when I say I want a relationship and then call up my longstanding friend with benefits. I’ve stopped feeling burdened with shame because I hated Lena Dunham’s book, don’t really get who she is as a person, but still will watch every episode of “Girls.” I’ve stopped judging people for saying one thing and then doing another, because I know far too well what that gray space between saying and doing looks like. I know that sometimes we are just a mere collection of atoms acting on impulse, longing to be loved and making mistakes along the way.

I’ve learned that you can love the writing and loathe the writer. You can also loathe the writing and love the writer. You can swear against drinking tequila and still down margaritas. You can hate rape jokes and still love Amy Poehler.

Well, maybe you can’t. But I sure as hell can.

You can change your mind. You can rewrite the story. You can write it all and then erase it. You can see the contradictions in how you think or the ways you’ve chosen to approach life and it can be OK. But, what you can’t do is be unaccountable for your behavior.The contradictions are OK. They are not an excuse. You have to own up to all of your shit, every last bit of it. When the contradictions appear, you have to say, “Yep, that doesn’t make sense and maybe it’s not in line with that thing I just said over there, but I realize it’s contradictory. I own that.” And if the contradictions are destroying someone else or burning your bridges or ruining you, you have to reconcile them. You do. Unless you’re game for a shitty life.

Knowing life is full of contradictions makes it easier for me to look ahead and stand in my truth–albeit one that may change, evolve, or even disprove itself over time. Knowing life is full of contradictions means I don’t ever have to approach things as black or white because seeing the world in color makes me a much more decent, tolerable and compassionate human being. Knowing life is full of contradictions is the one thing I know now, and believe I always will, know for sure.

Tyece is the editor-in-chief of Twenties Unscripted, a blog where she offers a sincere, sassy and sometimes smart-assy take on growing up. Follow her on Twitter @tyunscripted

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