CWA #1

Awhile ago, I announced that my mom had given me a book called “642 Things To Write About.” I had intended to start this earlier but nows a better time than never right? As mentioned in that post, you’ll know it’s a creative writing peace based on the title. I plan on just opening up the book and choosing the first topic I see. Some will be fiction some will be non, depending on the topic I suppose. Here we go…

Who people think you are, compared to who you know you are.

Wow. Jumping right in I guess. This is awfully tricky because it really depends on who the person in question is. People judge a book by its cover in all different forms. I could look at the cover of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and think it’s going to be a phenomenal book while my 70-something year old grandma could look at it and see a bad illustration of the greatest book series of her granddaughters generation.

A judgement that has stuck with me for a very long time is something my 10th grade best friend said to me. I enrolled in the Newfolden school district mid-9th grade year. I was quiet. I always am when I’m somewhere new, I know that for sure. It took me some time to warm up to the 25 or so people in my grade. Fast forward a good year or so, I became really close with a group in my class. Well, as close as you can be. See, being the new kid gives you some kind of exotic sense of “who is she?” But your face doesn’t pop up when childhood memories are reminisced or last years festivities discussed. They don’t know your deepest darkest secrets or who your first kiss was. They don’t always include you and when it comes down to basic instincts, they never fully trust you.

Regardless of all this, looking back they were some of the best people I had ever known. After a year or so of becoming friends and comfortable sharing my boring 16-year-old life with, my bestest friend at the time told me something I’ll never forget: “When you first came to this school, I thought you were a bitch.”

Nice, huh?

We went on to discuss her statement. It was nothing I said or did. I just looked like I’d probably be a bitch. It wasn’t a look I gave her (not knowing her) or the people I talked to the first day. It was just a “feeling” she had. I’ve always wondered what people thought about me, I think everyone does. But since that moment, I really think that I became more aware of that nagging wonder.

I’ve had about four best friends in my life. In chronological order: Kristi, Sam, Adam, and Chris. Kristi popped back in when we were in college. I moved from Roseau so we were disconnected and now, we’re disconnected because of well…life. But I still consider her one of my dearest friends. Even with our lives so different and going years without talking.

The other three still hold a huge piece of my heart too. Sam was my first and longest friend when I moved. We shared some of the literal best times of my life together. Nothing and no one could ever replace a friendship like we had. It was hard to “stay friends” when she left junior year and I decided to pursue college.

Then there was Adam. Adam pulled me out of my shell. He was wild and open. He would sing like no one was watching and not try to clean up because someone was coming over. He was confident and my confidant. We did everything together.

And same goes for Chris. Chris, my brother, and I were connected at the hip for some time but like every friendship, things change.

I wish I could have been one of those people who have had a best friend since kindergarten. Even as adults, be close. Meet up, go to each others bachelorette parties, travel together. All that jazz. But you know what? If that were the case, I might not have met the four that I did have.

Clearly, I’ve gotten off topic here. What I guess I’m trying to say is I have no idea who people think I am. And I have no idea how people decided they wanted to be my friends along the way. The only insight I’ve ever gotten was that I’m probably a bitch even though I don’t think I am.

I think that people think I’m reserved. That I’m quiet. I think that people think I’m a know it all or stuck up. I think people think that I think I’m better than them. I think people think I’m a fat slob. I think people don’t trust me or feel uneasy around me. I think people think I’m stupid for staying with Channing when I should have left.

I don’t think that anyone envy’s my life as I do theirs.

Who am I really? At 25 years old, I should know who I am, shouldn’t I? I should have lived and made more mistakes than I have. I should have traveled and gotten my bachelors and volunteered at a soup kitchen and partied harder and loved deeper. I should have experimented and dated more guys. I’m sure that’s what the “wondering me” would say. But it’s not about her. It’s about the “actual” me.

Who am I really? I’m a 25-year-old woman trying to figure my life out. I’m a bitch but I’m only a bitch to people who actually deserve bitchiness. I love hard and fall even harder. I’m a thinker. I’m an observer. I stumble over my words because I don’t know what I want to say but I know how to write it. If you mean the world to me, I’ll put your needs ahead of mine. Always. I’m a bad tipper because I expect excellent service. I lack empathy. I wish I had access to that deep socket in my brain to empathize with homeless people or women who regret last nights hook-ups but I don’t. I love children and want to be a mother. I love to write but feel that it’ll never get me anywhere. I’m quiet in settings I’m not comfortable in. I don’t trust very many people but I expect people to trust me. I strive to be someone who my brothers look up to but I don’t think I’ve done a very good job of that. I know I’m a good person and that I care too much. I know that I am smart but I know I’m not the smartest. I believe in third, fourth, and fifth chances. I know that my family and boyfriend are the most important things in my life. I know that I focus to much on wishing my life had been different instead of appreciating the life I have. I know I’m fat and it makes me hate myself. Like really, really hate myself. I know that my size and the way I look deter me from being the person I am inside. It prevents me from being the outgoing girl I once was. It puts a road block directly in front of me. I don’t go out and meet people because I’m bigger than a mini-cooper.

I know a lot about myself but I don’t always know who I am. I’m not who I think I am because of what I am. I don’t know if I’ll ever really know who I am. Who are you?

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say, Don’t Say Anything At All.

Can you be both opinionated and nice? I mean if your opinions really drastically differ from someone else’s? That’s a tough one. Courtesy of the bountiful world we live in, everyone at some point or another develops opinions on a variety of topics. They can range from a spearheaded political standpoint to which make and model is the best vehicle to drive. Some mean more to you than the next.

Is there a way to levy out your true feelings about one topic or another and still be perceived as the kind soul that you know you are without sacrificing your own personal opinions and beliefs? I suppose if you keep your mouth shut at all costs and just decide to be a human form of Switzerland, sure. But what if you have something to say? Usually a differing opinion causes often unwanted attention, well for me anyways. I believe and hold true to quite a few things. I know when to speak up and when to keep quiet but what about the moments when you’re just in casual conversation and something pops out? It doesn’t seem like much until you hear the other persons point of view, which I respect by the way.

Maybe that’s the key. Maybe having the ability to respect another opinion is the only key to being both kind and opinionated. I’m sure each person feels differently depending on the situation but I personally, never seek out to hurt someones feelings or viewpoints. Of course each side usually offers up their own explanation trying to help another side understand where they are coming from and I think it’s important to listen to what they say weather or not you agree or not but it often causes an uncomfortable tension.

I have a few stances in which I will never budge from no matter what anyone will tell me. Some of them are argue-worthy and some are not. Some are just “nope, that’s not how I think, sorry.”

So what do you think? Have your opinions ever resulted in a lost friendship or an unwanted grudge? Are you open to hearing their side of the story or is it your way or the highway? Let’s here it!

Empathetic VS Apathetic.

Empathy doesn’t come easy for me. Even admitting that makes me feel like a douche. It’s not that I don’t care about people, I do. But I don’t know, it’s just something that I can force and force and force but if I’m faking it, does it really matter? Can you tell? I mean, I feel empathy towards people that I can actually relate to. There are plenty of people that I can actually say I’ve felt something similar to what they are feeling but there are many more things that I just can’t relate to. I’m sure lots of people that can empathize with others haven’t gone through the heartache or whatever emotion may arise but they can still genuinely exhibit compassion.

Does that make me a bad person? Is it better to show rapport when you don’t mean it or to be honest? I’m sure it depends on the situation. There have been times when I just want to say “you know what, too bad for you.” This even relates to the entire 9/11 fiasco. It’s terrible that all those lives were lost, yes, but it didn’t change me. It didn’t change my view on the world. The world has always been a shitty place, have you ever read a history book?

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I’m sorry that your spouse is in the military. They chose that life knowing the consequences. You either were part of the decision or knew it was part of their life when you met them. It’s a package deal. Yes, it’s tragic when someone dies in war but it was also awful when my mom lost her dad to heart disease.

Or when you miserably had to plow your snowed in yard for the thousandth time this winter? Really, I don’t care. You live as far north as you can in the midwest, are you surprised it snowed again?

Within the last year, I had a good friend pass away. It was a very sad moment in time and whenever I think of her I am filled with immense emotion but I wasn’t close enough to her to deserve any empathy from anyone. Once we heard of her sudden passing I promised myself that I’d try to relate to people more but it’s not easy. It’s not something that you can just “do” or turn on. You have to try to be kinder and I mean really really try.

I’m not trying to exhibit myself as an asshole nor am I attempting to justify my emotions. It’s more admitting to something that I can’t seem to control. I do empathize when necessary but overall I’m not an overly understanding person. The simple things in life that we all complain about on a daily basis shouldn’t have to require empathy. I bitch all the time but I don’t expect people to really give that much of a shit. And when people do go over board with the “oh no, that’s just terrible” nonsense speech – it doesn’t make me feel any better, it just makes me wonder if you are sincere or not.

I’m not quite sure where it all came from. It’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older I can tell you that much. I’m sure part of it was how I was raised. When you wake up in the morning it’s up to you if you’re going to have a good day or not. Don’t let others bring you down. It also might be due to the last few years where although I had people to care for me; I still didn’t feel like anyone understood what I was going through. Someone told me about two years ago to not broadcast everything out there. To keep it to myself and that’s what I’ve been doing. I kept a lot of things to myself thus obviously no one has been able to empathize with me because in all fairness, they didn’t have the choice to.

Having gone on an on about that, I wouldn’t describe myself as an apathetic person either. I guess I’m in limbo when it comes to the topic. I wonder if we were honest with ourselves; if more people are actually in-between like myself. I run into people on a daily basis that try too hard and I can’t help but wonder if they pull the guilt card like I have for so many years so they just default to feeling bad for people. I’m on the road to being more honest so I can find myself from within and I really do feel that I am a good person to the people in my life whether you are present for five minutes or five years. But I’m still willing to admit that I could be better.

Here’s to trying a little harder and caring a little more.