I always try to push myself to give #realtalk, to tell people what I think and how I feel. I try to be unfiltered. I try! And I fail. I talk around my feelings in the same way I did as a shy child.

It’s kind of shitty to lack a lack of self-consciousness, to be in a constant hyper-awareness of your “talk.” It’s not that it’s #faketalk: I am incapable of being rudely honest. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. (…because isn’t that what #realtalk really gets at? Talking “real” at the risk of hurt feelings?)

These thoughts set in yesterday as I watched a scene at work play out on television. It was a brief debate on how real someone is going to get. The subject in question is a child star turned teen star turned eventual adult star in relationship to a book promising realness. There was a glazed “Yes, I get real.” response and I started to wonder why I didn’t possess the qualities this young woman has. I’m ten years older than her! Why can’t I do what she does?

The answer is kind of sad but kind of enlightening: she’s both a teenager and incredibly successful so she can talk like like that. If I talked like that, I would get straight up punched or fired or dismissed for being an asshole. Or so I think? The other side of that answer is that she has a certain social and financial clout that I do not have. If she is the queen in her friend kingdom, she can tell someone to change their fucking shirt and they won’t blink. She runs that shit. She is both the bread and the winner and you are lucky to wipe her ass with the butter that you are.

Me? Nope. That doesn’t happen because I am neither an unflinching honest teen nor am I so successful that I can only speak in #realtalk-isms. Instead, life—or adulthood or personal anxieties extending nearly three decades or whatever—boxes you in, deafening you from your feelings. Maybe the answer or the solution is actually talking it out in therapy. Is that it?

Who knows! It’s funny that the reality of #realtalk is that you have to be a teen, rich, or fully aware and accepting that you might be a deeply unlikable person. If you are cursed with being too nice, you are fucked. Oh, the irony of being a faggot who lacks the spine of realness required of him.

Got to be real.

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