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There’s a song lyric that’s been running through my head for weeks, now: “Don’t forget that I’m human; don’t forget that I’m real.” You know, this blog has over fifty posts. About eight months ago, I posted my first blog post about dabbling in minimalism. There have been other blogs in the past, but none of them have kept my interest like this one has. The reason I believe this one has lasted is because when I started this blog, I knew I was going to consider writing my true profession from there on out, whether I ever made a dime or not. I’ve made a few dimes since then, and I’ve tried to create compelling content here for almost a year.

I expend a ton of energy trying to maintain a positive attitude in my writing here. I try to maintain a positive attitude at work, at school, and in the interactions I face day-to-day. It seems like I do a decent job, for the most part, with the exception of at home (ironically). I’m still working on that. Don’t forget that I’m human; don’t forget that I’m real. When I sit down to write for this blog, in particular, I try to make sure there is something, if not entirely positive, real and down-to-earth and fairly judgment-free for my readers to take away. I sure don’t try to throw down a bunch of rants or whine about my personal life.

Where am I going with this?

Well, I’m human. I get tired and sometimes I just don’t want to sit down and type. I’ve kind of been there at a low-grade level lately. Even though the content I’ve put out for the last few weeks has been close to my heart, and I’ve attempted to keep it compelling and down-to-earth as usual, I recognize my mental exhaustion going into the writing process. This sort of thing gets worse for me when I am physically exhausted, and I have definitely been physically exhausted. Don’t forget that I’m human; don’t forget that I’m real. You know what, though? So are a lot of other people.

The thing about this lyric that appeals to me is that it resonates with me at a personal level. Sometimes, I feel like people forget that I’m human. Sometimes, I feel like people forget that I’m real. I’m not talking about the context of the internet, solely, either. I’m talking about even the slightest offhanded remark a person can make to me, in passing—the one that cuts me down quick, throws me off balance, and dulls the positivity just a touch. Don’t forget that I’m human; don’t forget that I’m real. It’s usually imperceptible to the person who does it.

Beyond appealing to me, though, the thing about this lyric that keeps it with me for more than a couple of days is that it provokes another, more important, thought. I shouldn’t forget that other people are human. I shouldn’t forget that other people are real. I might be a full-time graduate student with a baby under a year old who works a job and maintains a writing career alongside that job and keeps house and has a wife she tries to see on occasion and maintains a 100-pound weight loss through a rigid exercise schedule and diet. I might be all of those things and I probably am genuinely exhausted. That’s a lot to keep under control. Don’t forget that I’m human; don’t forget that I’m real. However, there are other people—humans, real. Other people not so different from me in that they’re exhausted too.

So when a student walks into my office for help, and I’m on the verge of tears and I don’t even want to be at the office that day, I remember that they’re struggling with their own tears. Maybe not at the moment. They are struggling in ways I cannot know or understand, though. So I help them, best I can, with a smile if I can muster it—and if that’s too much, with a pleasant enough demeanor. Don’t forget that I’m human; don’t forget that I’m real. When I don’t want to even walk through the classroom door at night, even to face my own studies, and as I stand there mustering the strength to do so anyway, another student shuffles by me and enters. At that moment, I remember that they’re probably not always excited to be there either. They’re busy, they’re tired, they’re stressed. Just like me. Everyone that exists around me is unique.

Everyone that exists around me is also human, though, and they’re real.

When I sat down to type today, I was exhausted and I didn’t feel like I could say what I really wanted to say—but then I thought, why not? Why not be honest? If this topic is what was on my mind, and it could put something worthwhile into the world, what did it matter if the direction was a little more unusual than the norm? This blog post doesn’t have anything less to say than any other. In fact, in a strange way, it might say much more than most other of my blog posts. And this is where I want to leave you, today. This is what I want you to remember out of every single word I’ve typed:

Don’t forget that people are human. Don’t forget that they’re real.

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