Jaz Persing is a writer, singer, and human living in Los Angeles. She works in television when she can. The rest of the time she’s just looking for a dare-to-be-great situation, hoping she can put a good dent in the world with the mess of broken love, vulnerability, and words she has. In the meantime, she’s immensely grateful for God and the many good people around her that make it all seem feasible.

Whore or Warrior

Whore or Warrior

“Thank you for sharing that with me,” they say. “That’s so brave of you.”

So they say. But lately, I wonder.

Is it bravery that compels me to open myself to someone in front of me? Sometimes. But more often than not I think a truth I am running from, a dark secret I’m less pleased to carry…is that I am an emotional whore. I respond to so much of life from a transactional place.

If I give you my secrets, my story, a little of my ugliness and darkness and struggle, will you give me your friendship?

If I unburden, will you walk away smiling a little bigger, feeling better about the confidant you were for me today and will be for someone else tomorrow?

Can we skip to an intimacy that would take so much longer to forge otherwise? I gave you a secret that’s barely a secret, but you don’t know this. Do you feel safe enough to lend me a little loyalty?

Conservative as I may lean physically, I’ve been around the block emotionally. I’ll get naked if you ask me to, sometimes if you don’t, sometimes when I can tell it will raise the level of the conversation. Because that’s what I’m looking for—something real, something deeper.

But the deeper places take a long time to get to, so I lose a few buttons to open my soul and then you see me as a warrior, but half the time I feel like some horrible stand-up comedian of vulnerability, performing the same bits with the same words emphasized, using these stories to indoctrinate you into my circle.

It all sounds so calculated when I describe it this way, and I don’t mean it to be, but I see it happening. Maybe it’s the temptation of being a storyteller, of living my life in a way that I have stories to tell you, because if I can entertain you, you will like me.

So these days in order to entertain you without being funny, I tell you the structured truth of myself. But how true is this version?

Because this is the part I don’t want you to know—the percentage of me that’s always selfish.

But I’m trying to shrink that part down, and I’m trying to be good and give you a gift just to give it, not to protect myself from emotional debt till the end of time.

I’m trying to tell you my stories only when the time is right, not when I can gain something from it.

I’m trying to tell you all this just because I so love to walk with you.

Forgive me if I’m a little loose in the process—and maybe I’ll be as brave as you think I am.

Backtracking in Big Sur

Backtracking in Big Sur

At the Protest

At the Protest