Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The Places You'll Go (and what you'll leave behind)

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."--Dr. Seuss

I started out with this quote in my head this morning, out of nowhere, and I used it as my Facebook status. People added the usual "likes" and two cents worth of comments, and, well that's always lovely and welcome. But, as much as we want to believe that stuff is true, as much as we try to, in a sense, put people out of our minds and put ourselves and our personal desires, feelings and individuality above all else in some sort of whipped up recipe for self esteem, it all seems a bit...idealistic, doesn't it? As much as Truffala Trees and Sneetches, and Yertle the Turtles, it is. I don't mean to knock the great Seuss, but I do mean to question this very quote in particular.

The past year has been a big journey for me, but recently I've noticed friends sort of drifting away, and those who claimed once to know me and enjoy my company, seem to treat me as though I'm some sort of foreigner, a stranger, if you will. Suddenly it feels as though I'm the one whose thoughts, actions, ideas and intentions are uninteresting, invalid, and I end up feeling much like a rose whose scent is whipped away by a sudden gust of wind in the wrong direction of the smeller's nose.

Maybe it's my fault. I mean, mostly, maybe it is. I've turned into one of those types who is absorbed in her career, or her outside activities, one who is often outside of the fun her friends are getting into and only catching up every third or fourth weekend, where I used to make an appearance at least once weekly. I can't deny that I've been busy. I'm thirty--that happens, at some point, right?

And then there's my quiet-ness. I mean, not that I'm shy and quiet, but volume-wise, I just don't compete with others in that way. Most of them are boisterous, riotous, laugh-o-matics whose quick-witted and volume-heavy quips carry conversations. In these situations, my words tend to suck back into the blackness of my own skull, to bounce around in there and make merry with my other thoughts, mostly because I cannot get a word in edgewise anyway, and, if I do, the moment for my words to shine has already passed.

But...wait! Reading this over just now, I think that I sound rather pathetic. Darn it, Seuss! Maybe you WERE right, after all. I mean, why should I blame MYSELF for not being the loudest of the bunch or not outshining everyone. Real friendship isn't so hard as all of this blather. REAL friendships aren't glittering showgirls singing and can-canning on a stage. Real friendships stem from those hearts you can confide in, those people who, when you need them, will drop everything on a dime to come to your aide. Real friendships aren't your "good time gal"--but they always guarantee you a good time, no matter what you do, even if it's sitting in the middle of nowhere, wrapped in complete silence together. Real friendships may not burn the brightest, but they burn the longest over time.

Real friends appreciate you for who you are. Those who mind who you are don't matter. Those who matter don't mind.

1 comment:

Nathalie WLA said...

This is the kind of mantra to keep close to you. I guess as you get older, it makes more and more sense. You realize that most - if not all - of people's reactions are about THEM not you. We are all different, and that's a good thing, else not only would the wheel still be square, but damn, it would be real boring! :-)