‘There is seriously no time in your short, terrifying life to put up with people who don’t ‘get’ you’
I spent a massive chunk of my life apologising for who I was, excusing myself, trying to make myself more appealing to friends and bowing down to those who expected more of me than I could possibly give. They expected me to be more funny, more outgoing, more into prog metal, the list goes on and on. Then there were those who wanted less from me. Less talk of feminism, less looking scruffy a lot, less compassion for pretty much everything. I have been asked so many times ‘WHY do you even care?!’ and to this day I don’t know how to answer that. I care because I do, because that’s who I am and when people asked me out of sheer frustration why I even care or bother with certain things I felt, again, like they were asking me to stop being that person. That person that I am. Another thing to add to my endless to-do list of who I should and should not be.
I carried around a weight on my shoulders that I would never be good enough; that I’m hard work and people will always find problems with me and that itself is a seriously heavy load. A heavy load caused by nothing but being myself. Then I spoke to people about it and that’s what we all seem to have, this feeling that we’re not good enough, so many of us are surrounded by people who just don’t think we’re good enough as we are. How is this a thing? How is this okay? Why is it okay to pull somebody apart for just being themselves and not harming anybody?
I’ll tell you: it’s not. Ever.
It’s an old adage but if you try to please everybody, you’ll please nobody. If there is a certain mould of YOU and who YOU should be for each person in your life who’s not happy with who you are, none of them will be the an exact replica of the next and trying to fit into them all will bend you so far out of shape that you’ll lose sense of who you are completely and that, of all things, is one of the most terrifying things that could ever happen- far more terrifying than letting go of those who make you feel that you’re not good enough.
I’ve managed to eventually weed out those that made me feel like I wasn’t enough. It wasn’t really a loss of friends because friends don’t do anything to intentionally bring you down. In fact, friendships are built on a mutual trust and respect. How much can somebody really respect you if they go out of their way to tell you what’s wrong with who you are?
There’s a difference between actual things I should work on; laziness, messiness, ignorance and there are things that are just parts of who I am; emotional, awkward and, at times, intense. These aren’t character flaws, these are traits. I won’t apologise for them any more. They’re part of who I am and they don’t get me down, in fact in the past year or so I’ve really started to accept and understand myself. I’m the person I’ve always been, warts and all and even if I am hard work, even if I am a bit strange, I still won’t be changing who I am any time soon to appease somebody’s else’s needs.
Everybody can find people out there who love them for who they are. Friends, lovers, workmates, everybody can find somebody who just accepts and understands who they are and even if this means having 3 close friends as opposed to 10, even if it means waiting years to find a group of people who love you for who you are it is absolutely worth the wait. The thing you-and I- should be doing is celebrating who we are, flaws and all. Everybody deserves a chance of happiness and the first step towards it is surrounding yourself with people who make you feel like you’re worthwhile and enjoyable to be around.
It is hard enough being a human being outside of the bubble that is you with work, politics, bills, just LIFE without the addition of feeling like you’re somehow endlessly inferior and never good enough without spending your non-being-a-real-adult time with people who just don’t GET YOU.
As for ‘why do you even care?’- I’d rather care too much than not at-all and if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t be me. I love being me.