You might not know this, but I’m convinced I’m not who you think I am.
Because I think I know who you think I am.
And it’s someone I’ve painted myself to be time and time again until I can no longer tell who is who.
So allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Brue. Not my real name. I hate my real name. It means blessing, and I think you think I am not.
My real name is harsh on the throat and screams of religion even though it is not a name found in the bible.
My chosen name is the one I was called once when I was seen for who I really am. The irony is it is a shortened version of my name in a dialect that screams religion even more than how my father pronounced my name at the synagogue the day after I was born.
Brue was uttered with full knowledge of who I am and no expectation of who I should be, so it is my name.
I am one child among ten to my parents, and so I have always been most lonely in a crowd.
My father wanted me to be a boy, not because he didn’t appreciate who I was born, but because he didn’t know what use it was to me.
My mother wanted the part of me that is her to be all of me.
And so, I have always felt worthless.
I think you think that I am tougher than I am. I am tough but not the kind of tough you know.
I’m the tough that survives the street. The tough that can face demons alone. The tough that stands up talks back and fights for the right to survive. The tough that can pick up and leave. The tough that doesn’t look back. The tough that falls apart at the end of the broken trail left behind.
I am tough but not the kind that doesn’t care what you think, so I melt into a sea of hopelessness when you pass your eyes over me.
I think you think you know who I am.
I have laid myself bare before you. I’ve recited all my lines. The ones where I describe my life, you gasp, and I smirk. The ones where I embrace death, pain, and suffering and say what people hold to their hearts. The ones where I am never shocked and never caught off guard because I am the kind of person who can handle it.
They are lines I wrote myself when I realized I needed to play the leading role in the script that is my life to survive. I recite the script, line by line, and lay them over the vulnerable, anxious me. So take the words that mean your life and string them together to present your story the way you want to tell it. The story of your triumph – make me brave and bold and tough, the way you know me now.
I think you think I am an open book.
And I am an open book if the book has no details and the story was half-written.
I’ve left out quite a bit. I’ve left out the parts that didn’t help me survive.
And so you don’t really know me at all.
My name is Brue.
And I am more than I think you think I am.