Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Way [Part 1]

There's something I've noticed about circles in society and it baffles me and drives me crazy.  There seems to be a tendency for a circle to pick out a few people to be the benefit of their direction.  I feel like it's probably those people in the circle that aren't quite the same as the rest of the circle.  It's the mother who isn't as strict with her children when they're fresh with her; it's the mother who is never more than a cry away while everyone else thinks that some separation is healthy.

For me, I feel like I'm either the girl who isn't loose enough, or who's too innocent, or who's too prissy. This bothers me, because when I'm in a group of friends who are essentially all that as well – I can see our similarity, but I don't click with them and I find myself getting bored.  I enjoy their company, but not all the time.  I'm a little bit more on the wild side, I guess, and yet I don't enjoy certain jokes, I haven't watched horror movies and don't follow pop culture, and I don't open up well.

So far as that covers, there is absolutely nothing wrong with me.  Except for the problems that I have with depression and anxiety and the fact that I'm shy, I have lines that I don't feel like crossing.

These lines aren't like lines between holiness and mortal sin; it's way, way simpler than that.  And yet not, in a way.  I don't find jokes about sex and boy parts (or girl parts) to be in the least funny, and I'm baffled by those who do find it funny.  I don't look at pictures of men with their shirts off (some do it and compare it to something like looking at pictures of girls in gorgeous dresses) and I don't care what Britney Spears is doing or what new trivia is out on Brad Pitt.  I'm not saying that having a casual interest in your favorite performers is bad, but I really don't need to hear about the latest scandal about someone I already didn't look up to.  And I can't argue dead against it, because some people do need to know (for various reasons) – but I don't.  I don't need to know and I don't care to know.  It's not important to me in the least.

I feel that I should speak my mind about the crude jokes, but that's not really the point.

The point is that I'm sometimes labeled as a kind of opportunity for charity.  I either need to be dragged to social events, shown certain movies, told about certain things, or exposed to certain phrases and worldly perspectives.

…I'm a simple girl.  I grew up in a small town in New England.  This is a poor town and the school system (middle school and high school) is regionalized – and it's our kids that are the "hillbillies" (from what I know).  We have a Unitarian church and a Congregational church in the center of town, Sunday preaching on the town common, and Sanctuary Worship in the gym of our public elementary school (the last two are recent additions, but that's the kind of town I live in).  We have two gas stations – one in the middle of town and one on the outskirts near the "city" next to us.  We have a town market, and that's where you go if you want to know what's going on in town – just look at the flyer-plastered windows.  We have quite a bit of farmland and lots of farmhouses.  But we also have areas of new development.

That's the town I live in.  I grew up simple, under parents that aren't much interested in the craziness of the pop culture – or indeed, in the craziness of much of the outside world.

So be gentle, I beg you.

I'm interested in seeing some of the movies that I've missed out on, and I'm interested in getting to do things I've never done before, and I'm interested in doing the things that I've never had opportunity to do before.  But please.  Just because I'm different doesn't mean I need your guidance.

I don't need you to say, again, that I need to push myself.  You don't need to be so obviously amused at my expense when I'm not familiar with something.  My nervousness and insecurity isn't your cue to affirm me.

Which is another thing – affirmation doesn't work.  When people go out of their way to say, straight out and blunt, something really nice, it feels like flattery, not sincerity.  It sounds like a statement carefully injected in order to artificially build up my self-esteem.  It's not working.

If people could just learn that one way of life does not trump others, I think a lot more progress could be made.

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