Growing a thick skin is something I need to do. I am, like most girls quite self concious, and although I don’t agree with it, am still finding it hard to get out of the mindset of seeking others’ approval, for acceptance. I have been overweight most of my life – not huge, but tubby enough to be sef concious – I was also bullied at various points throughout my childhood – I thought it was because of my weight, but looking back now I don’t ever recall being called fatty or suchlike, kids were just cruel, I guess it was only in my head that i thought it was a looks issue.
Therefore from an early age I became the sort of person that just wanted to fit in, just wanted to blend in, be like everyone else, be accepted. It meant that if everyone had kickers for school shoes – i spent all my christmas and birthday money to have them too. My friend likes suns and moons (remember those designs?) then so did I. I followed, and by the time I was in secondary school, I somehow found myself in th popular group of girls, yet did I really have any sense of who I was or what I liked? of course not.
I would probably say it has taken me until maybe only 2 years ago to start finding out who I am. Before then, after the childhood friends came boyfriends, who, of course, I enjoyed whichever interests they had. I went through a girl-racer stage in my late teens/early twenties – mainly my idea, however it did stem from my then-boyfriend driving a sporty car. I guess I was, what some may call a sheep – well, at least the girl who bullied me in my final years of senior school said so! My last ex introduced me to new things, which was nice, he was old before his years however, very much a clone of his dad – his only interests being pink floyd, star trek/wars/gate and chelsea football club (i didn’t partake in that one), so when he left me I found myself in a position, pretty much for the first time ever where I had to decide what it was I like!! And it wasn’t long after that I found that to be really true to yourself, you might get a lot of disagreement/opposition along the way.
Be it booking a holiday, applying for a job, choosing to not really drink alcohol, going to bed early, not socialising as much as is expected, starting a new diet, cooking a certain type of food, or having a brown boyfriend who spends most of his time on the other side of the world – oh yes, everyone has a view on my choices, my life!
And what triggered this post? Family again. My Nana has been staying for Christmas, I haven’t seen her in a while so sat down with her and showed her my photos from my last two holidays – the latter being India. “Oh you couldn’t live there could you?” she asked, “well yeah, maybe” I reply – You have to be careful what you say to my nana, you can say one thing and she will run with it, and go on, and on. She enjoys looking at the pictures never the less, and asks for printouts of a couple, so I head into the study and get to it. Meanwhile hear her go into the kitchen where my parents are, I hear my name but that’s about it, and my mum tell her that she should be saying that to me not them. I don’t bother to probe. Later on at the dinner table my mum pipes up and tells me that my nana says I am a pretty girl, that I am looking really nice lately – but she doesn’t know what I am doing with an ugly so-and-so like babu (I’m paraphrasing, I can’t actually remember what it is since the anger took over). “oh” i reply, “its a compliment, she means you look nice, just that she thinks you can do better” at which point i’m sure i looked close to tears, I certainly felt like it, I must have done since she then started backtracking “he’s not that bad, there’s just much nicer men out there” “what we’re saying is you’re an attractive girl” I still want to cry.
Again and again, do they think that forcing their opinion on my in such a blunt manner will just change my mind? I would never insult anyone so personally. Every time it is like a dagger through my heart. I didn’t like my Nana’s partner, he wasn’t a nice man, and in the 15 odd years they were together and he wasn’t treating her as well as he should, I didn’t say a word, because he was her husband and she loved him. you just don’t do it. over and over I just feel betrayed.
And so, much akin to my last post, I will have to learn to accept, that others won’t always accept my choices. I just wish, they would give up and keep their opinions to their selves to at least make things a little easier for me.