You know how when you meet someone, and they give you this snotty little look like, “you’re a fucking freak,” and then you start wondering, “AM I A FUCKING FREAK?! IS THAT WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?” And you’re so quick to second guess yourself instead of second guessing the constipated stuck up instead?
I hate moments like those.
When I was young, I thought that any person who looked at me sideways was looking at me sideways because something about me was wrong. Too loud, too silly, too sweary, too sweaty (that too), too opinionated, too cheery, too young, too fat, too dressed up, too dressed down, too much, too much, TOO. MUCH.
Too not for them.
If you were quiet, I’d try to be quieter…to please you.
If you spoke in a formal register, I’d speak in a formal register… to please you.
If you were a fast-talkin’ city slicker, I’d be a fast-talkin’ city slicker…to please you.
It was only when I found people like me, who were naturally silly and goofy and sarcastic and banter-ey and completely over the top, that I ever really felt like myself.
Until I got older. And I became an adult. And I was on par with all of these other adults, with their cars and their houses and their jobs and their credit cards, when I realized that: (a) Most people are dipshits and; (b) I wasn’t too much—they were too little.
It never occurred to me that the people looking at me, judging me, could be wrong.
And sometimes, even if only by sheer probability, I’d be right at least 50% of the time.
Now that I know this, it makes life so much simpler. You make cross-eyes at me, I automatically assume something’s wrong with you, not me. (Well, USUALLY—unless I’m sneaking gin into a national park somewhere.) This subtle little shift in perspective has saved me more times than I can count. Because when you get out there in this world, there’s always going to be someone trying to break you down. Always going to be someone who’s jealous or shitty or unfair or actually out of their goddamn minds. And what, are you going to let that stop you? Shrink you? Put you back into your shell?
You have the right to exist as you are.
Being a chameleon might seem like a good thing, until you realize it doesn’t make you versatile: it makes you invisible.