I am what I like to think of as an interesting person. Hard to describe in just one word. Eclectic! When people comment on one of my many, many (many, many, many, many) quirks, I always respond the same way: “it’s part of my charm.” People laugh, and I laugh a little too, but honestly… it’s true. Love me or hate me, but this is me.
Here’s where that gets tough. While I have never really had a problem with who I am in my friendships, I struggle with it sometimes in the world of dating. I find myself pretending that facets of who I am don’t exist because I worry. Will he like me? We he think that’s cute, endearing, charming? Or will he think that’s weird, annoying, and stupid? So what I do? I pretend. I invent a person that isn’t really me. Sure she looks like me, has pieces of me, laughs like me (I’ve tried, no way to tame the laugh), but at the end of the day… she’s not the real me.
Why do we do that? Eventually the real me is going to come out. If you date someone long enough, you wake up one day and forget to act. Whether you are you from the beginning or you eventually show your true colors at some later point, you are going to have to present the real person you are eventually. Why are we so afraid to do that? Common sense tells us that if the person we are with cannot accept us for who we are, we should not be with that person. Why do we try to twist and mold ourselves into something we are not just to please the other person? Are we that afraid of who we are?
Well, we need to stop.
No but actually…. STOP.
I have entered the world of dating many times and then taken breaks. I just re-entered it again after a few month long break, but this time, I made a decision. I will absolutely, positively, be me. Honestly, it is somewhat terrifying, because I don’t know if I have ever really done that from the beginning… just been completely me.. and at 31, that is really sad. There was a post I saw on facebook the other day:
“You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge. Apologize for mistakes. Apologize for unintentionally hurting someone– profusely. But don’t apologize for being who you are.”
I have no idea who said that, but I want to hug them.
I am done. I am done rounding out my edges to make someone else more comfortable. I am done pretending a piece of me doesn’t exist for fear that someone might not like it. I am done living my life as anyone other than me and I am definitely done apologizing for who I am.
To all of you out there who are trying to find that person to share their lives with, don’t do it by pretending. Don’t do it by building a persona that isn’t real. Don’t hide the essence of who you are out of fear, and DON’T under any circumstances apologize for being who you are.
It has taken me 31 years to realize that I am 31 flavors and then some… not all of the flavors are good but they are all part of me and they all make me who I am. I will always work on myself as a person. I will always try to be the best me I can be. But I will no longer be anyone else other than me, and neither should you.
Happy summer everyone,