One of my favorite things to do, something I’m doing constantly, is watching how people interact; their mannerisms, expressions, what words they choose, the tones beneath those words… it’s actually really interesting. And, what’s even more interesting is how much we can take away from a single interaction. It’s almost like mind reading. Even if we are wrong, there is so much to interpret.
Now, I’d love to say, “Fuck it. Do whatever you want, and don’t listen to what anyone else has to say about it.” While in many senses I do believe in this, I think it comes with an asterisk.
Fuck it. Do whatever you want, and don’t listen to
what anyone else has to say about it.*
*Without forgetting what type of person you want to be.
Notice how I did not say: “Without forgetting what type of person you want people to see you as.” Let me explain.
I want to be selfish. I want to be as happy as I possibly can. And, I believe that comes with being sure of myself and content within my interactions. Like everything else I’m figuring out, it's a balance.
It’s so easy to get caught up in small annoyances or heated emotions. And you could argue, in those moments, that what would make you happy would be to give into them. And your happiness is most important, right? But, that’s my point. Doing that would be easy.
I used to get so caught up in who I presented to everyone else in my life. I wanted to portray the best version of myself instead of actually being it.
Then I did a complete 360 and started believing that I just had to have a non-existent filter and never apologize for it. What I’m realizing now is that it’s neither extreme, but naturally more of a middle ground.
And finding that middle ground isn’t for everyone else; it’s so you actually can be your happiest. If you’re so worried about manufacturing a reputation, whatever that might mean for you, you kind of lose some depth. You lose the ability to act without a filter. And having a good reputation isn’t just something in high school; everyone is concerned about it. On the other end of the spectrum, if you have no perception of how your actions affect your world on a bigger scale, attaining a higher, more satisfying level of humanity becomes 10x more difficult. You can never be fully content with yourself if you’re just burning bridges left and right.
One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Spain in the first place was to get away from everything; my life, my problems, literally everything. I thought if I could be as far away as possible from everything, then I could really figure out how to be the best version of myself and find the key to being happy.
But, looking back on that decision and my year, while I don’t have any regrets, I have continued to choose isolation over actual hard work.
Hard work with people, with relationships, with interactions.
I basically just said, “Fuck it, I’m gonna do whatever I want.” Yet, by only doing what I wanted to do, I didn’t leave any room for people to show me that I could want something that I can’t predict.
So, I guess Spain has been good for me. Even if my intentions for the trip weren’t totally in the right place to begin with.
Then again, that’s usually how it goes right? The best outcomes are the ones you can’t predict?
۞ ally ۞