Yesterday Elliot and I went up to Bracebridge to see Dad for Father’s Day (yeah, I know it’s actually today, but I was going to have other plans today, except I don’t – see below). We took him to lunch at the New Haven, which is now probably the oldest business in Bracebridge. The Setos don’t own it anymore, but is is essentially the same. I like that. There’s not much that’s the same up there anymore. You can’t go home again.
Today, believe it or not, I was going to go to – wait for it – church. I think I could just about handle the Unitarians. I don’t know if they could handle me, though. My horoscope says I will meet a group of people who have a similar viewpoint to mine. I meant to go last week, too, and I didn’t. I’m extremely nervous about it. My worry is, although I would like to just sneak quietly into the back and listen in, and go and ruminate on what I’ve heard, it’s my experience that church people always want to shake your hand and clutch you to their collective bosom. I need to broaden my horizons and meet new people, but – it’s so hard. I don’t LIKE new people. I don’t know what they’re going to say, or what I can safely say in front of them. I feel like I’m always biting my tongue. It’s almost like I have to mimic them for a while to try and figure out what their skin feels like. That’s not natural, I shouldn’t try to be them, I should just try to be me. But mostly I don’t really know what “me” is, so it’s not that easy.
Define yourself. What are your must-haves, what are your deal-breakers? Do you adhere to them regardless of the company you’re keeping? I can be fickle, I want to please the people I’m with, but afterwards I kick myself in the ass for not being true to myself. Deep down, I worry that People Won’t Like What I Am, so I try to be something else that they WILL like, instead. That’s a major mistake, I know. I over-analyze, try to second-guess what people think.
Newsflash: I don’t know what people think. So, rather than trying to please people who please ME, I should just be me and let people either be pleased or not with me. I just want to make everyone happy, and that is essentially dishonest on my part. But I’ve never been very good at reading whether people like me or not.
On the other hand, that’s how society works, isn’t it? We have to get along with people we don’t exactly adore. We live hundreds of tiny lies every day, at work and at home, just to get along. It would be nice not to have to do that, but it’s part of life. But where do you draw the line? And with whom? And what if you get so far into a relationship with another person by “getting along” that all of a sudden you realize that you’re not what they think you are at all?
Almost better that they should have disliked you right off the bat.