**WARNING ** This post has the potential to offend absolutely everyone.
My name is Tanya. It has been 17 fucking seconds since I last uttered a swear word.
The other night I was out with my friend, and we were sitting on a patio tucked in amongst other patrons and beautifully arranged hanging baskets, and were talking and drinking as the hot summer sun went down. It was all very picturesque. We ordered another (totally unnecessary) round of drinks, and I have no doubt (so. much. doubt.) that by this point I was talking about something very profound and being exceedingly clever (I so wasn’t). But as I was sharing my wisdom with her, I suddenly became acutely aware of all the fucks that were rolling off my tongue, and stopped mid-sentence, looked at her and said, ‘I swear a lot.’ She looked at me with a look of duh-you-totally-do-dummy, and said, ‘Yeah, you do!’ But then just as quickly, looking utterly perplexed she said, ‘Why the fuck wouldn’t you swear? It’s super fun.’ For so many reasons we are friends, but right then, at that moment, I knew exactly why we are. She not only helped me feel better about my untamed potty mouth, but she made me laugh.
Since the other night, though, I have been asking myself a few things. Do I need to cut back on the liberty I take in just swearing whenever the hell I want? I mean, is it fair that everyone has to be subjected to the real-life version of Scarface, minus all the murder, every time I am in their presence? The truth is, I don’t even know I am swearing anymore, it’s just like breathing, if I didn’t do it I would totally die.
At work several months ago, I came into the office, and some guy had disassembled my desk to put in a new one that is supposed to be good for my back. Later on, after he had finished putting in the new one and had left, my co-worker and I had a conversation that confirmed I had hit rock bottom on the awareness scale.
Him: ‘Tanya. Do you know what you said to him?’
Me: ‘Umm, no. What did I say?’
Him: ‘You said, son of a bitch when he said he was taking your shelf!’
Me: ‘I CALLED HIM A SON OF A BITCH?’
Me to myself: ‘WHAAAAAT??’
Him: ‘No, you just said, son of a bitch.’
Me: ‘DOES HE THINK I CALLED HIM A SON OF A BITCH?’
Me to myself: ‘OH FUCK.’
Him: ‘No. I think he just thought it was funny.’
But there it was. One of my colleagues from another department may or may not have thought I called him a son of a bitch and may or may not have been making his way to HR to report me, and I was clueless to the entire exchange.
He didn’t report me to HR. But every time I see him now, I grossly overcompensate for my blunder by basically falling just short of inviting him to my house for tea and crumpets. Oddly, I am having a harder time catching up to him these days; it’s like he is walking a whole lot faster. I may still get reported.
Then last week I was yacking away with my co-workers, most likely all fired up about that shit-stain who claims to have won the popular vote, when I dropped a sentence riddled with an alarmingly high number of f-bombs and other expletives. But I caught myself, and turned to my new colleague, and apologized for my mouth. He laughed, and said, ‘It’s okay. I think it’s hilarious.’ But inside my head, I was like, is it?
So this brings me back to my need for pause. For some reason, I feel like a walking contradiction these days. Because despite my incessant need to curse as though my life depends on it, I AM A REALLY NICE PERSON, with a huge heart, who cares very deeply, but it feels like one doesn’t seem to go with the other. Is it possible for me to exist with these two distinctly different parts but still be the ‘me’ I want to be?
Since I was in high school, I have cursed, but never at the level of legendary. What in the hell happened to make me this way? I needed to know. So, I have spent the last couple of days going back in time, to find the source. And I found it.
It began four years ago when all semblance of order in my life disappeared, and left me reeling, holding on for dear life, alone inside my head begging day in and day out for a reprieve from the soul-crushing pain. Sound dramatic? It was.
To cope, I found solace in words – my way to combat the relentless ache. And on the days I found myself sitting alone crying in my car, or on my couch too paralyzed to move, I swore. I swore out loud. I swore inside my head. Over and over again, I swore. Each time I said ‘Fuck’ with forceful intention, it was as though I was keeping the monster inside me at bay. Over and over again, I swore.
As the years have gone on, I have changed. For the better. I am confident, have belief in myself, love with all my might, and for the first time in my life understand what it truly means to be happy. I guess you could say; I get it. Whatever ‘it’ is. I just fucking get it.
So as I sit here now examining these two parts of myself, I realize that without one I wouldn’t have the other. On those dark days, I found a way to keep reaching for extraordinary, and a place where I would once again feel the sun. And though I did it by using words that make most people cringe, they helped me find my way back to the light. They are as much a part of me as the air I breathe. Today – I know extraordinary.
Do I, however, condone calling your co-worker a son of a bitch? I DO NOT. I repeat, do not call your co-worker that thing. Ever.
So what’s my message here today? Well, suppose it’s this. This blog, my text messages, emails, and conversations won’t be filled with good golly’s and oh fiddle sticks; they will be laced with words that not only represent the battle I won but the person I am today. In between the shit’s and goddamn’s, though, you will find humour, love, appreciation, and gratitude for each of you – because I feel all those things and so much more.
To all of you who stick with me and accept every part of me…thank you.
Really, just thank you – so fucking much.