There’s a look in Catherine Tate’s eyes when she’s mid ‘bovvered’ that speaks to me in a way I’ve only just registered. It is the absolute certainty in my mind that she’s not acting: for the briefest of moments there is an almost brutal honesty to the performance. Despite what people think of me, and I know a lot of bile gets thrown around from time to time, I can only really be honest. Lying used to be the way I’d hide or inflate my worth, but I learnt that actually, that’s just dangerous. If you do that, people get hurt and you look like a twat. Honesty might upset some people and cause others to run away at speed but for me at least? It works, because then there is no ambiguity involved. No, I wasn’t just being polite to you, I actually liked you, right up to the moment when you took offence at how I reacted and then you buggered off. However, I clearly didn’t like YOU nearly enough, because of I did I wouldn’t have upset you by speaking my mind to begin with.
That’s how a lot of my life on Social Media runs at present, and I think it’s high time that stopped. When I speak my truth, people often get upset, and I have always known why. It is very rarely due to me being right. It is more often because I made them think.
As a rule, people don’t like their world views being disturbed. This normally only happens with major upheaval: death, job loss, falling in love… all that funky stuff is often when self-reflection comes front and centre. I do a ridiculous amount of self reflection because I have learnt this is the only way by which I can keep everything in the right place, and cope with all that gets thrown at me. I’m making up for the decades when I did none at all, and fucked up so many other people’s lives as a result. Call it penance, because that’s actually what this is. I don’t want to stop because the freedom I now have to live as I want is worth the mental exhaustion at the end of long days. Plus, I am making headway into places I was too afraid to tread. That is worth the effort in itself.
However, when people can’t grasp why I’d be so angry? You really haven’t been paying attention, have you? I listen to your woes and concerns but as soon as I have an issue you’re all ‘not my problem, you’re scary’ and away you run. That’s not how life works, and like it or not you won’t ever move forward if you keep legging it away from the big issues. Sometimes, you need to face the truth and deal with it. It’s not fun or easy either, that I can totally attest to. But the rewards are so great and awesome I wonder why other people don’t bother. Maybe it’s because they just don’t want to feel personal development is important, I dunno. I’d rather be a happier person inside than collect stuff, because I tried collecting stuff and ultimately it turned into a waste of my time. The pursuit of happiness can not always be measured with a subscriber count or through Twitter followers.
The closer you are to the end of your journey, the more you realise how much is still left not done.
Everybody makes choices in life. Some of them are right, others not, but you should be the person deciding that and not others. I’m still learning this lesson: if you can honestly say something to yourself and believe it, you should hold the courage to defend that to others. Sometimes the truth hurts, and is not easy to obtain, but there’s nothing wrong with admitting a mistake if you make one. Right now I know that the last two weeks has seen me be more honest than I think I’ve ever managed, in so many differing places. It’s been liberating, and fulfilling, but what has been the greatest result is how other people have reacted. Because sometimes, when you are yourself, great things happen. Sure, shitty stuff does too, and you need to understand that every action has a consequence, but in the end? That doesn’t matter, because the biggest benefit was for your own mortal soul.
Trusting yourself is the hardest thing. I know, but now I’m not bothered about what other people think when I do, because if they really matter? They’ll tell me I’m wrong. If they don’t they’ll either stay silent or simply vanish. That’s how friends work, people. Real, true, decent friends.
Yes, of course I’m bothered, every single day, but not about this.