Sunday, August 4, 2013

I'm Beautiful on the Inside - and That's Not a Platitude

Life has taken a bit of a hectic turn. My work expectations have increased, my brain got turned inside-out (my fault, and nothing I'll talk about in a public forum), and my post-work hours are filled with relaxing in a way I haven't needed them to in over a year.

But that's not what this post is about.

My name is Trudy Jane Smock-Sample, and I'm a hard person to like. It doesn't have to be that way; I can fix it. Put others' needs before my own and don't make anyone take care of you.

This is a mantra that went through my brain over and over again when I was in a very weak mental state. Brain-washing myself.

And, it's alright. It was good to do this. I needed to banish the last of my youthful cruelty from myself.

When I was younger, I acted like a nice person. I did nice things, and said the right things. However, I wasn't actually kind. I was a selfish asshole who thought only about myself.

I spent years and years selfishly searching for something to make me feel good, taking more than my share, and obsessing over whether and how other people were thinking about me.

I don't know when it started waning. Over the last few years I've felt less manic need. I've felt more true empathy for others.

I'm still nice, but now I know why I should be nice. I see the consequences of my actions and hate the idea of hurting someone. I don't want anyone to be in pain, and find myself more able to see how other people are feeling. More than not wanting to hurt people, I want to help them. I see the things they allow to happen to them or are doing to themselves and want to prevent it.

I went from being a self-serving sociopath to being an empathetic, kind person. I finally started liking who I was, because I was someone worth liking.

We constantly hear people talk about how they hate themselves. Of course they hate themselves; they're probably somewhat hate-able. But so is everyone until they change - and they probably will change. Time wears away at our edges so we stop cutting each other when we bump other people.

I dreaded getting older for most of my life. I hated the idea of being thirty and was certain I'd die before I got there. Now, I'm thirty-four. I've just learned how to be human.