Editor’s Note: This blog is a little longer than normal (and we don’t even mention fraternities, sororities, Social Excellence, or recruitment by name!). We strongly recommend you check it out and share it with someone who could use help finding their “Little Me” and being a little more vulnerable, one of the four pillars of Social Excellence.
by Taylor Deer
Long overdue, Big Me and Little Me finally bump into each other in the street having lived so close to one another for almost 26 years.
Big Me: Hey! What’s up man? I’m Taylor.
Little Me: What?! No way, I’m Taylor too!
BM: Woah. We live right next to each other, how have we not hung out yet?
LM: Ah, well I kind of like to keep to myself. Not in a creepy way! I just like peace and quiet. Lately I’ve been trying to teach myself to play the pia…
BM: Peace and quiet?! Why man? Come on, let’s go out and get a drink sometime! I have a ton of friends who would love to meet you!
LM: I don’t know man, that’s not really my scene. That kind of stuff makes me feel like I’m networking rather than making friends. But still, I’d love to get a drink sometime. I know this awesome dive bar that’s super chill.
BM: Alright, cool! You know what? I’ve been meaning to reach out to you for a while, I just get distracted easily. We live so damn close that it’s just becoming weird that we don’t hang out more. Want to just go over now?
LM: Alright cool, yeah, the place I was talking about is right around the corner. It’s called Introspection… have you ever been there?
BM: Introspection? I don’t know, sounds weird. Does anyone even go there?
LM: No dude, that’s the best part. Come on, let’s go check it out. If you get too weirded out, we can leave. It’s just a place we can hang out for a bit to just chill and get to know each other.
BM: OK man, I’m trusting you here. Introspection still sounds a bit sketchy.
LM: No worries, I thought the same thing. Look we’re already here.
BM: Wait, how did we get here?
LM: Don’t worry about it. Let’s just say it’s closer than you think. What do you want to drink? I think I’m just going for a water…
BM: 10 Fireball shots!
BM: Nah, totally kidding… I joke when I’m nervous. I’m not used to sitting down one-on-one man. Why’s it so quiet in here? How come you like this place so much?
LM: It’s peaceful. No one bugs me here. There’s nothing to distract me. I don’t even drink, this place just makes me feel at home. I just think about stuff. That probably sounds weird, I know.
BM: … No dude not at all! It’s totally cool that you just come here to…. think… and stuff.
LM: Look man I get it. It’s weird, but I love it.
BM: Like, what do you think about?
LM: All kinds of stuff man. I think about what makes me happy, what makes me sad, what I want out of life. Lately I’ve been spending more time here to try and figure out who I am. It helps me sort through all the complex stuff that happens to me. Ya know?
BM: …. No
LM: Come on man, you know what I mean! Like, what did you think about “The Break Up”?
BM: What break up?
LM: …. Dude, come on, I know you’re smarter than that.
BM: I have no idea what you’re referring to.
LM: Well then, allow me to refresh your memory “Big Me”…We just fell in love with someone, like, Disney Channel, Hallmark Card, head over heels, RomCom, never-ever-thought that would happen, in love. Do you remember now?
BM: Alright, maybe a little. Now that you mention it.
LM: Right. Then they broke up with us. What did you think about that?
BM: Dude, let’s just not talk about it. Let’s just get out of here okay?
LM: No, dude. We’re here, let’s just talk about this.
BM: Why man? It’s over, its done. There’s plenty of more fish in the sea! Let’s just get back out there man! I guess it wasn’t meant to be. She didn’t know what she was missing!
LM: You’re just spouting out cliché’s now. You and I both know you don’t believe all that. Stop running away. This is your pain. This is your burning hand.
BM: Did you just quote Fight Club?
LM: Yep. Come on, stay focused though! Let’s get to it. You can’t just keep avoiding this and hope it gets better. I’ve seen you man, you’re just distracting yourself from facing this. Yeah, you can get back to the gym, yeah you can grind harder at work, yeah you can jump back into dating again, but it feels sort of empty, doesn’t it? You love the gym, but when going to the gym becomes just another way to run away from your problems, it kind of messes with you right? It’s like you’re always looking over your shoulder to see if these feelings are going to sneak up on you and grab hold of you.
BM: Fine. It hurt, alright? Can we just move on now?
LM: No dude. Why did it hurt?
BM: I’m not answering that question.
LM: …. Because you’re afraid to?
BM: No way, I’m fine!
LM: …. That’s a load of garbage. Your buddies might buy that, but I don’t. Look, it’s just you and me in here. Give it to me straight.
BM: …… Look, I’m just embarrassed.
BM: I’m embarrassed because I was naive enough to trust Love again. Like I said, “You won’t break my heart again, right?!” Love smiled back with that Cheshire Cat grin and in its soothing tone said, “No way dude!”. So, I took a deep breath, against all my best judgment and reason, reached out and… *BLAP*. Love cut my arm right off.
LM: Interesting sound effect for that… Anyway, I get it. You know what? That pain is real. It happened, and it totally sucks. Listen to me though. It’s how you deal with that pain that matters. You can keep avoiding it, running away, until it shows up on your door step when you least expect it years from now when you’ll be totally unprepared to handle it. Or you can just accept it. Face it, learn about yourself, and move on. It’s not going to be pretty, but it’s necessary to heal.
BM: How did you deal with it?
LM: My friends heard about it, invited me out to dinner, and I cried over a bowl of Spaghetti for like an hour and a half… I think it was gnocchi…
BM: Oh man, love gnocchi, still can’t pronounce it though… Anyway, that’s how you fixed it? You’re done with it now?
LM: It’s not something that you just fix. You’re going to carry that around with you forever. You have to decide how you want to carry it. It can either be a burden and ignore it like something you don’t want around. Or you use it to learn about yourself, lift that *ish* above your head, and use it to make you stronger so you can carry more later when something else comes along.
BM: Gym reference, awesome. I hear you, though.
LM: Listen, all that talk that you do is just lip service. While you spend all this time trying to convince other people that you’re fine, you could have just been in here, hanging out me facing the truth. Working things out so that we can use this as a chance to learn more about yourself, rather than another chance to keep running away. One thing that I’ve learned from coming here is that all this stuff that happens to us can teach us. The more you ignore it and cover it up with distractions, we just delay the lesson. Or worse, we don’t learn anything at all, and it happens to us again and again.
BM: Damn, that’s the truth.
LM: The only thing that prevented you from coming here was your unwillingness to admit you were embarrassed because Love made you feel stupid, again. Embarrassment only happens because you have this “perfect” image of yourself, and this break-up smudged it. Instead of recognizing that this smudge adds depth and character, you spend your time trying to cover it up…. Which clearly didn’t work. My suggestion is: let’s keep painting man. That smudge is only a smudge because you thought you were done. Take that smudge and make it work within the painting. The moment you admit you’re never done learning about yourself is the moment that anything can come along. Instead of shunning it, you should embrace and learn from it.
BM: Damn dude you’re smart
LM: You know you’re talking to yourself, right?
LM: Never mind, we’ll talk about that later. The truth of the matter is, I brought you here because I need you just as much as you need me. If you kept on ignoring this, it would have slowly eaten you up inside until it becomes too much and hurts you down the line. We need each other to be whole. One of us without the other is like…. it’s like…
BM: Peanut Butter without the Jelly!
BM: Like Mac without the Cheese! It’s just noodles baby!
LM: … Alright let’s just move on.
BM: No I hear you man. I guess I just needed to sit myself down and face this truth. It sucked, but it only hurt my ego, and that’s good every once in a while. This has been so great. I’m so glad you brought me here. I feel a million times better. We should do this more often. How does later his week sound?
LM: Yeah man maybe, I was planning on just chilling’ and playing some Dungeons and Dragons…
BM: Sounds great! I’ll just meet you here. First round of waters is on me!
LM: You’re so weird dude.
BM: Shoot. You’re the one who’s talking to himself.
LM: So, you DO get it?!
[Big Me and Little Me leave Introspection arm and arm]