I often find myself having to apologize for who I am. I don’t think I was made for this world–a world where people are cruel and exclusive and angry. I feel too much about too many things. I begin the day desperately trying to understand why Freddie Gray, among a tragic, immeasurable figure of other people, has not yet received justice. By lunch I’m seething at the hypocrisy which values children in women’s stomachs, but not children starving, receiving little or poor education. Before bed I’m going through my email and seeing updates from PETA, on the brink of tears as humanity brutalizes animals for things we don’t need. It hurts. It really hurts to feel this way all the time.
I don’t mean to martyr myself. It’s a privilege to be upset about these things rather than experiencing them directly. But this whole constantly being upset thing leads to a deeply intense and passionate aura, which can be anything from attractive to repellant. The reactions vary but stay dominantly on the polar opposites of good or bad. As I’ve always said, people either love me or hate me.
In the recent years that I’ve become an emerging professional, it’s become obvious to me that I push people. I get stuck in the mental conundrum in which you wonder if people are bothered by you because you’re better than them or if you’re just really a bad person. If you think the former you’re egotistical and bougie. If you think the latter you live in a perpetual state of self-loathing and self-doubt. You lose no matter what.
My thing is though, if I have to lose I’d rather lose backing myself than the idea that there’s something wrong with me. The world doesn’t want us to love ourselves or believe in ourselves, because if we do we wouldn’t need the capitalism-encouraged items and goods that we often buy to fill empty places in ourselves.
This isn’t a condemnation of capitalism though (but I do condemn it). This is a cry to encourage people to stop apologizing for themselves. If you’re around people who make you feel like you’re wrong, then that connection is wrong. I repeat: If you’re around people who make you feel like you’re wrong, then that connection is wrong!
Your identity, your being, is a shape. It can be molded and changed, in time, but it can’t be twisted and pushed into submission. A square peg will never fit in the triangle hole no matter how hard you push it. You can probably get in one corner at a time, but never the whole of it. Some people don’t like squares, and they’ll blame you for not being the kind of triangle they enjoy. That’s more of a them problem than a you problem.
I’m not suggesting you live in blind egotism, wherein you’re always right about everything. That won’t get you anywhere except alone. What I’m saying is that if you’re stuck in a place where you feel like the people around you aren’t feeling your vibes, you can either leave, buck up, or give up. I chose the second.
I know I’m not perfect. I know I make mistakes. I know I hurt people intentionally and unintentionally. But to effectively function in my world, I chose to project an unshakable love and confidence in myself. To others, I’m a queen… a role model for self-love. In reality, I doubt myself so powerfully that I haven’t written a single word for the story I’ve had in my head every day for almost seven years. Maybe I’m a mess and maybe I hate myself sometimes, but I won’t apologize if my anxiety, depression, ideologies, or passions offend you, and I certainly won’t be showing my self-hatred to the world. Although, it’s probably too late for that now.