I’ve had two people in as many days tell me that I am off-putting and alienating. Today, I was even offered “advice” that I should show “gratitude” toward the people who are peripheral to my daily life, and who for the past several years, have been viciously insensitive and judgmental of me.
The remarks hurt because I still think of myself as being predominantly affable and gregarious. After a bit of a cry and a lot of thought, I realized: yes, indeed, I’ve changed. I don’t have the patience to pander to the idea of making someone else feel comfortable in my “presence,” when their aim is to make me feel uncomfortable.
I don’t care about peripheral people’s feelings. I don’t care who dislikes me.
I care about the people who pull me closer when I try to push away. I care about those who treat me gently despite my thickening armor. I care about the people who scale my walls instead of trying to violently crash them down. I care about those who are patient with me, who allow me to move slowly, who take me by the hand, stand by me, and refuse to let me give up. I care about the people who know me well enough to know that I can and will laugh (obnoxiously, out loud) in any situation, no matter how inappropriate it may be. Mostly, I care about those who know that whatever it is I may take from them, I will happily return in kind.
So, I’ve learned that I no longer care who likes me. I care about who loves me and who knows that I love them.
“Underneath this skin, there’s a human. Buried deep within, there’s a human. Despite everything, I’m still human.”