“Could I have been, anyone
other than me?”

-Dave Matthews Band – Dancing Nancies

It has occurred to me that sometimes, it really isn’t me – It really IS them. I say this because, well, most of my adult life, as a good friend recently pointed out, I’ve blamed myself for every rejection, every failed relationship or friendship and just about every misunderstanding I’ve ever had with another person.

The truth is, it isn’t always me who is to blame. Despite my hyper-awareness of how flawed I am, sometimes, it really IS them.

The truth is, I am exactly who I say I am. If I tell you I care about you, I genuinely do. If I make a promise, I will be damned if I don’t do my best to keep it (I’m not perfect, I know, but I sure as hell try to follow through). I don’t suffer fools lightly and I am ridiculously tired of being taken for granted by idiots who are so jaded they can’t recognize the genuine article when they see it.

I am flawed – very much so. I am an impatient woman with daddy issues and a chunk of self-esteem problems. Ultimately though, I really DO like myself and I refuse to suffer through yet another situation where I have to convince anyone how much of a privilege it really is to know me and to have me actually want to know them.

I once told someone that I hate being called ‘sweet.’  Yeah, I’m a nice person – but in this jaded society we live in, the word ‘sweet’ is often a term used, condescendingly, to mean ‘naïve.’ And my biggest fear is that sometimes, I am.

I say I am naïve, because I foolishly believe that by being myself, not some made up persona, but actually ME, that folks I relate to would show me the same courtesy.

See? Naïve.

My conscious brain knows that can’t be the case, but I am stupidly hopeful. And that may be my biggest flaw of all.

I want to believe the best in people. Sometimes, so much so, that I will convince myself they are worthy of my trust or my company, when I really know better. I’ve tried, in the past, to be more jaded. I mean, I’m a born and bred New Yorker, right? I SHOULD be jaded, mistrusting, and the farthest thing from ‘sweet.’

But the truth is, I don’t want to be some jaded, mistrusting individual always looking suspiciously at people trying to figure out what they want from me or constantly trying gauge exactly what emotional weapon they’re going to use to figuratively stab me with. I LIKE believing the best in people. I feel as though maybe by my believing, I am challenging them to be their best. Sometimes I fail. And while the failure hurts,  I refuse to continue to blame myself for the failures anymore because on those rare occasions when I DO succeed, I end up with some amazing people in my life. Besides, as I’ve realized, the failure isn’t mine. It isn’t a failure to offer friendship. The failure lies with the person too selfish or too full of self-loathing and self-pity to recognize a good thing when it’s right in front of them.

I often say I’m blessed. True, I’m still unemployed. Times are tough. I’m about to turn 40 and have no clue what is going to happen to me if I don’t find something soon (okay, granted, I DID just interview for my dream job, so still keeping my fingers crossed on that), but I AM blessed. I have amazing people in my life, and I think, that maybe, it’s my ‘flaws’ that brought these people to me in the first place. My family is stuck with me – My friends CHOOSE to be. That is a huge distinction. I am honored to have these people in my life.

I genuinely feel, now, that the folks who I reach out to who reject me are the ones missing out. I’m not perfect, but I am pretty damned amazing and worthy of knowing. If they are too busy navel gazing to see what’s being offered them by me, then they’re just not worth my time, tears or effort.

I stole a quote off a friend’s Face Book page earlier today that really sums up what I’ve been feeling and ultimately what led to this little pat on the back I’m giving myself here:

“You either like me or you don’t. It took me twenty-something years to learn how to love myself, I don’t have that kind of time to convince somebody else” – Daniel Franzese

 (Thank you again: Sarah N. Smith for posting this quote – you really don’t know how perfect your timing was.)

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