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Bartees Cox

Well,

For as outgoing as I’ve always been, it’s always been a little difficult to go out on a limb and try something new with people. I moved around a lot as a kid, so making friends was something I just didn’t do. When we finally stopped moving I was close to 16 or 17. It was hard to adjust to my place in Oklahoma, but like every other city I lived in I was very good at blending in. I basically copied the actions and mirrored the sentiments of my peers for years. Really to the point to where I don’t think i ever really got to know who I was. The outcome of my blending was meeting new people and forging meaningful relationships. But they were built on shaky ground, faulty towers, backslidden buildings etc.

College came around and I got a scholarship to play football at a university. I ended up quitting on account of injuries and other things. Moved back home and started over. That was the scariest thing I ever had to do at that point, but that's not what this write up will be about.

Fast forward. After many relationships with people, including romantic, I had the hardest time being honest with them about who I am. not because i didn't want to, but more so because I wanted them to just like me. I I just never thought people would be totally down for the real me.

I live in DC now, I have a fun job, life is great, I have an apartment that's modest but something I'm very proud of. but the problem still remains, being myself, making connections, and fully opening up. Then I met a person that made me feel like myself. It was like a key that opened the door to who I really was.

I know that's hella corny, and super awkward, but it was and still is terrifying for me to be myself around her. Play the songs I like, go to places I enjoy, let her listen to my beats, dress the way I do, talk about Oklahoma, which is where I'm from. But somehow she was OK with that. She'd let me go on for hours. Talking about why buffaloes mean so much to me, and why net neutrality is such a big deal, or the reasons why Braid is the best band that ever came out of Chicago. Because seriously, Braid is monstrously gorgeous in too many ways. Have you not heard age of Octeen?

I haven't known her long. But she helped me face the thing that scares me the most, myself. And thanks to her I've realized that I'm not that bad. 'Preciate ya for real.

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    • Whitney 1016

      super-sweet story! I think everyone can relate a little—feeling like you've been trying to blend in for so long that you don't know who you really are :)

    • Jelena Woehr

      I love this story so much, Bartees. It reminds me of someone, too! shhhh... :3