So as of late a common thing I have heard is that I can come off as a bitch or intimidating. When I heard this I of course began to analyze my behavior — particularly my interactions with guys (because let’s be honest, much of what we do as humans is related to the way we see ourselves in relation to potential romantic partners).
Here is what I found: I come off independent. I remember just yesterday I was helping a friend set up for a surprise party and playing music on my phone. A guy in the building came and asked if we wanted speakers. I said,”I have my own speakers downstairs so I think we’re all good.” Then I followed up with “But you can bring yours if you want, we would appreciate that,” because he looked positively hurt. He walked off and spouted some silly nonsense like he could tell he wasn’t needed and the like. I have had similar encounters with guys.
Another thing to note: I’m nervous a lot. Like all the time if I’m not with my friends. My mother has severe anxiety. I’m pretty sure I have it too if I’m being completely honest. As a result, when I am in big open spaces with a large group of people and it isn’t nighttime, I get nervous. I usually stay quiet because I’m just nervous all the time. Nervous about what, who the fuck knows. I just get nervous. I know my tells. I crack my fingers and I play with my hair. Or I simply stare off into space. All the while, I have a neutral expression on my face.
If the speaker interaction and the fact that I don’t like to speak sometimes in large crowds if I’m not entirely comfortable makes me a “scary” individual then I am going to proudly wear the “scary” badge with honor and pride. I say this because anyone who knows me, anyone who has the balls to talk to me for more than 10 seconds knows I am the furthest thing from a monster. I am literally 5 feet tall and most days I DANCE to class. Literally dance. Yesterday it was raining and I was playing outside in the rain like a loon.
Sidenote to potential suitors: I respect a man who doesn’t need to be the center of attention all the time. More often than not, I’m attracted to men who are more silent — I end up having better conversations with them most of the time. I have many secrets. That’s just the way I am. I don’t like to share super personal details unless I am ultra comfortable. I appreciate someone who works with me. I appreciate someone who doesn’t mind the fact that I will be cagey at first. Because the thing is, when I do open up, I’m like a fucking book. I will spill the secrets of how my inner mind works left and right if I feel that I can trust you and that you too trust me to hold your secrets.
Today has not been a good day. It started last night when I had a conversation with one of my close friends here and the whole “sometimes you can look scary” thing came up. Then I stupidly went on Facebook.
I had been avoiding Facebook because quite frankly, I don’t really want to see my classmates being super happy at the spring gala — the event brings really bad memories for me. My first gala was with my ex and it was wonderful. Shortly after however, we broke up for a few hours because he couldn’t accept something about my life. I gave in and we ended up back together really quickly but from that day on I think is when our relationship started to crumble. He never trusted me after that because I had kept a secret from him — something, mind you, is not even horrible and many people in their relationships go through the same thing. I could see it in his eyes, he was always upset with me from then on until the day we broke up. Which brings me to last year’s gala which was literally a month or two after we broke up and I ended up in tears. Straight up tears because I went thinking it would be fun but then I saw my ex and my emotions hit the fan. So naturally, I didn’t want to be reminded of gala. But my curiosity of who my ex might bring (yes, my mind went there) got the better of me and I checked. Turns out I know the girl. She is one of the sweetest people I know and I really like her. My ex is my friend and to be completely honest, I’m happy for him and I’m happy he’s happy. He is an awesome person deep down, I will always think that.
What added this experience to my “today was not a good day” list is that for more than a second, more like a few hours, coupled with my happiness that he didn’t end up with a basic bitch (if you don’t know what that means refer to the internet or the last minute of Beyoncé’s new song “Sorry” off of Lemonade), I was also sad. I was sad that I am alone and that guys don’t ask me out or flirt with me because they think I’m intimidating or simply don’t find me attractive enough. I thought, “Ok, with you and Matt, you fucked that up (even though I know I didn’t because we are two very different, not compatible people). With Michael, you fucked that up by not being a blond-haired, rugby-playing novelist who understands the rules of D&D (a fact, mind you, I knew I couldn’t change and didn’t even WANT to change). Now, the universe isn’t even going to give you any more chances because you aren’t worthy of a guy’s affections (something I know is, again, NOT TRUE).” I’m angry that I felt that way and I’m even more angry that to a certain extent, I STILL feel that way.
I’ve taken a couple deep breaths since finishing that paragraph. I get it. This is self-pity and this is beneath me. One does not go through life, one does not survive or thrive in life, by pitying themselves and their supposed shortcomings. One receives information, thinks about it and if it conjures a negative emotion, one does not dwell on that negativity for long. Furthermore, one does not compare themselves to others. Comparison is the destroyer of happiness. Some really smart person said that. Honestly can’t remember and nor do I have the drive to go find out at this moment.
With that, I say this: I will not be smiling or giggling all the time because that is what will get a guy’s attention (if I happen to be smiling or giggling it will be because I WANT to be smiling and giggling). If I want to have a blank face at dinner for a variety of reason (nerves or just because I don’t have anything to say) well then I will have a blank face at dinner. If I want to wear an outfit that empowers me (which most of the time means heels and a blazer) I will wear my power suit. If I indicate that I don’t need your assistance for a particular project and you become butt hurt as a result, I won’t be apologizing anymore. If these stipulations scare you or intimidate you, that’s alright. I’m not here to make a complete stranger or a scared individual, who doesn’t even know me, comfortable.
If you can see past my “scariness” and if my independent nature doesn’t make you run away, I welcome getting to know you. If you have a pair of balls or grow a pair of balls and speak to me, 11/10 I will not bite your head off. Odds are, I’m more scared of you than you are of me. I am genuinely a child most days. I laugh more than I cry and at night I make a wish on the first star I see. Every night. When I’m outside I am dancing or bobbing to whatever is in my head or headphones because I love living and being a part of this grand thing called life. I will not throw this in people’s faces, however, just to get a guy’s attention.
Every time my friend C and I talk about boys, we talk about our Prince Charmings. We describe them as men who are brave because they talk to us. He will be courageous because even if he does find us intimidating at first (because apparently we both have bitch faces) he’ll understand that there is so much more to a person than the face they make at dinner surrounded by dozens of people.
We live in a society of instant gratification. We want an answer to how old Emma Watson is, we Google it (26). We want a burger and fries, we go to Maccas (Australian for McDonald’s) and within 10 minutes we have both. We want to know if someone likes us, we swipe right and hope that it’s a match (#Tinder). Snap. Presto. Just like that. As I’ve said, I don’t operate like that. On a friendship level or a romantic level. In my last post I talked about being conflicted about Tinder. Conflicted, I am no more. I don’t like the idea of it and I don’t think I will be using it anytime soon (my bestie from home says never say never).
Stranger, I am downright pleading at this point: first impressions and quick glances mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. Dig a little deeper before judging someone. They might be me and hopefully (if you’ve read any of my other posts or have followed my journey at all) you can see I’m pretty fucking harmless.
Today was hard but I know that the tears I shed have been building up. The frustration I’ve been feeling needed a release and today was that day.
In the novel, The Outsiders, the main character is told by his friend “Stay gold, Ponyboy,” referencing Robert Frost’s poem Nothing Gold Can Stay:
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.
I’m staying gold. Repeat: I’m staying gold. I like who I have become. Yes, I still get really nervous sometimes (working on it) but I’ve come a long way from my hella timid self. Big crowds still scare me but small groups don’t. Sometimes I come off as independent because I have been through a lot so I can and often enjoy taking care of myself. Just because I indicate I don’t need your speaker doesn’t mean I’m an antisocial monster or something. Grow a pair and move on. Stop looking for instant gratification or validation all the time, people.
Someday, I will meet a man who will appreciate a woman who isn’t the loudest one at the table and who doesn’t need to be validated or needed all the time. Yes, he might have to work a little bit harder to win my affection (seriously though, anyone who knows me at all knows that if a guy asks me for tea, 9/10 I will say yes so even this is in the grand scheme of things isn’t scary) but it’s so worth it (I like to think).
Thoughts? Feelings? You’re welcome to comment.