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“Do You Like My House of Lies?” An Open Letter To My Past Self

past self conversation lies and truth neon sign

You’ll trust people and you won’t question their intentions because they seem real and fun. Then, you’ll them about everything, who you are, what you’re looking for, what you appreciate in a person, and what you can’t stand. They’ll turn themselves into that person.

During all that time, you’ll believe it’s who they were in the first place. You’ll try to be that generous with sharing yourself again. In a world of undefined truths and lies, you’ll struggle to recognize which parts were theirs to begin with, if any, and which they stole from you.

You’ll try to remember, what was it that you said that made them do it? Or was it your tone or the look you gave? You’ll never remember because there was nothing to remember in the first place.

Bad people don’t need a trigger, they will actively seek and find evil anywhere. Just like good people passively find beauty, and virtue, and goodness, in the little things, and in others, and in the world without seeking it.

It wasn’t your fault.

It wasn’t your fault.

It’s not your fault. Never will be.

“Tell them I was the warmest place you knew and you turned me cold.”

Well, shit, tried to, motherfucker.

♪ You said you’d die for me! Give to me, give to me! Why won’t you live for me?! ♪

You’ll remember them saying they’d do anything for you, then doing anything but. You’ll think of their eagerness to give you the world, then their inability to give you the only thing you ever wanted or asked for: the truth.

I can nourish myself on nothing but truth.

Therese of Lisieux

A woman walking by tells her friend: “Age doesn’t necessarily equal maturity.” I agree. Maturity doesn’t necessarily come with age, either. If what you’ve built is based on lies, sooner or later, it’ll crumble in front of your eyes. Sooner preferably.

You’ll remember them asking if you liked how childlike they were. Thinking they were referring to the playfulness, laughter, and living like there’s no tomorrow that characterizes kids, you’ll say, “Yes, of course.”

Later, you will find out they were referring to their fantasy reality, and asking if you enjoyed being there with them. A charming paper house the one they built, can’t live inside though.

Huge thanks to Natalie Patterson for being so open and vulnerable in her writing and work, inspiring me and thousands of others to do the same.

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