If you are reading this, there's a good chance you are hoping to find some light at the end of a dark tunnel: relatable content that makes you feel somewhat normal. Well, let me tell you something, you've come to the right place. While some only follow me on social media for a few laughs, I am astonished at the number of people who want more. Don't get me wrong; the memes are hilarious, but the response is far greater when I share something personal, which leads me to today.
I've been thinking a lot about the connection between humor and pain. Lots of people use comedy as a crutch to get over life's many hurdles. I suppose that is one reason why memes are so popular, especially among teens and young adults. When my best friend passed away at the beginning of 2019, I found her teenage son in his room, swiping his phone for condolences. It turns out he had made friends with some of the people churning out memes on social media, and when his mother died, he turned to them for comfort.
There is a backstory to sarcasm that often goes unheard, mostly because suffering isn't funny. But there is nothing more authentic than mixing light with love and telling the whole story, so why not have a little fun by dissecting a few of my memes.
Using an image of Frazier running with scissors, I joked about how easy it is to cut people out of your life. "Over the years, I've cut ties with numerous toxic individuals, including several family members," I wrote in the comments on Instagram. "Decisions like these are never easy, but enduring abuse on any level is unacceptable, and so you must choose what is best for your mental well being." The post goes on to describe how tough the holidays can be for people who grow up in dysfunctional households. The meme is funny. The reality behind it still hurts.
After learning that someone I cared about had been bad-mouthing me to others, rolling her eyes behind my back, and making fun of my hairstyle, I retaliated by wearing pigtails whenever we saw one another. When confronted about the deception, she later confessed to holding a grudge against me for ridiculous reasons, one of which dated back to my twenties when an old boyfriend allegedly commented about her weight (side note: he never said one word). Although we "hugged it out" over the phone, she and I no longer speak due to unresolved issues with my family.
One of my first "real" jobs was working in a law office with a guy named Barry, who spoke to me like I was an idiot. I was still in high school at the time, making terrible life choices that could have — likely should have — ended badly, so anything HE had to say to me rolled in one ear and out the other until I was old enough to comprehend the impact of his words.
When people talk down to you, particularly when your ego is pressing against the devil, your desire to challenge yourself weakens. Barry didn't know about my struggles with self-respect. How could he when I barely understood them myself. Still, making someone feel "less than good enough" benefits no one. A year later, after quitting my job and moving to another state, I realized Barrys were everywhere and learned not to pick them before they were ripe.
Of all the memes I have ever created, this is the one that speaks loudest. After spending ten years in an abusive marriage, and another five battling extreme narcissism in a court of law, the definition of a motherfucker became evident, proving once again that humor is often the only protection you have against things (or individuals) that cause pain.
Whatever you are dealing with can typically be summed up in 140 characters or less. Use that space to free your mind with laughter because it truly is the best medicine.