Sammy the Seal

“People say what reflects well on them”

In words, words, words on Monday, 9 March, 2009 at 16:23

Sadly, a quote that I couldn’t fulfill if my life depended on it. For better or worse, I tend to say what I think or feel. This lack of restraint is my nature, it  is independent of any person or situation. All I can do is hope people take it for what it is, and allow for a little slack. When I wrote about May I talked about how people like to fancy themselves “nerdy” or “different” in some way, which is fine, but I like to think if we’re serious when we say that, we make allowances for other people’s differences and behavior (especially if it’s an aberration), if only because by addressing ourselves as “different” we acknowledge our own imperfections or “weirdness.”  Anything else is self-stigmatization, and personally, that’s not my game. Played the whole “boohoo why can’t people see past my insecurities for the real me” self-pity shit in my early-to-mid 20s, before realizing how ugly, delusional, and, ultimately, unattractive it is. The whole thing about “think highly of yourself, the world will take you at your own estimate”— if that’s what you think of yourself, no one’s going to debate your expert opinion, so don’t be so hard on yourself. I think it’s what helps me to be compassionate, though misguided sometimes.

If this sounds defensive, well, gee, let me give you a cookie for being so perceptive. All kidding aside, it’s very frustrating to try to watch where I falter and still have people back off, as if any of us are perfect. Being a real nerd is not being afraid to show your “warts”. It’s not all quirks and cutesiness.  Recent events to the contrary, this is a longstanding issue, going all the way back to 2005 when a former friend disassociated herself from me by stating, in her own words, “you’ve been acting a bit weird lately.” How is that not some form of hypocrisy? I’m not perfect, but I try to not let my misperceptions and insecurities inform how I deal with people. I’m aware that I am open to a fault, but try to allow for certain circumstances and understand where a person might be coming from. At most, I talk or vent to myself or, infrequently, to my roommate.

Not to say I’m oblivious— actually, I’m quite aware I put my foot in my mouth. And every time, I try to explain myself, because I somewhat selfishly think it matters that the other person understands my intent, and maybe, I’ll get the benefit of the doubt. Of course, we can’t control how other people see us any more than we can effectively scratch our own backs— sometimes it’s easy to get to, sometimes you just can’t reach far enough and so wait it out. There is a quote about this, something along the lines of “you see the world you want to see”— meaning we’re all delusional and self-serving, I suppose. Optimistic, pessimistic, angry, paranoid, fatalistic, free-spirited, caged, bitter, etc. Personally, it’s a quote that I’m trying to disprove. Trying to look at people and the world through non-Sam-tinted glasses more often, in effect.  So if somehow this comes across as mopey or whiny (shame on you, interpretating me before I can defend myself!), it shouldn’t. Try to think about it, it’s confusing when you try to be sincerely decent, or apologetic, or respectful, and your intentions still get twisted. Or you fuck up once, and somehow that defines you. I guess how the bad is always news, and the good goes unheralded— way of the world, I suppose.

I’m not bitter. I’m pained, but I’m not bitter. All I can do is be patient, and try to be more decent and thoughtful, but hope people allow for my stumbles. If nothing else, I learned this weekend that I have at least three truly decent people in my life. People that somehow manage to care just enough to not take me too personally. I like to think they understand that we’re only ourselves, maybe we should cut each other some slack. I’m not ashamed to top this off  with a long lost Buffy line: “to forgive is an act of compassion. It’s not done because people deserve it, it’s done because they need it.” (Yes, I used to be a Buffy nerd. I will never deny who I am or was.)


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