But I was the bookworm constantly worried people would see just how nerdy and inadequate I really was.
Someone said to us recently on a night out that she had needed to learn to be real. Someone had told her that people didn’t like her because she came off as fake. She had no idea that was the case, and she subsequently figured out who she was.
That conversation has stuck with me. It’s hard to know how other people perceive you, isn’t it? Because for the most part, folks are too polite to tell you they dislike/are put off by you. But there comes a moment when you look around and wonder…
Who am I?
I’m still that little kid worried that others will see just how much of a mess I am, and that they’ll figure out I’m a facade with no building behind it. Someone once told me I come across as desperate and trying too hard. I’ve never known what to do with that observation. Not try? Don’t care? How do you change a behaviour you’re not aware you have? How do you change perceptions of you for the better? Or should you simply not care what people think of you?
I’m not terribly outgoing. I’m sarcastic and can be sharp. I’m insecure to a ridiculous degree. I’m awful at keeping up with friends. I have to work at it to be any semblance of ‘normal’ in a society that prefers tact and soft words. But maybe that’s where I’m going wrong. Maybe I should just let go and be my socially inept self, and be okay with being an acquired taste. But there’s also one thing I know about myself; I’m sincere. If I like someone, I don’t say things for the sake of it. I mean what I say. So, at least I know tiny piece of myself.
It’s a start.