Sunday, 22 June 2014

Accepting Yourself

Remember when you were young; maybe 5 years old and you could talk to anybody you saw. Nobody was scary and everyone was fascinating. There's a story my mom likes to tell of when I was 3 years old in Maui. We were sitting in a hot tub one night and I was talking with this one lady, she asked my name so I told her and asked her the same question back. She then asked me where I was from, I answered and then I asked her where she was from. She then proceeded to ask me how old I was. I of course answered by saying I was 3 then asked her how old she was. She looked stunned for a moment then laughed and said "I should have expected that!"

In the same scenario I would have never asked her how old she was, I would expect she wouldn't ask me how old I was either due to my seniority at this age compared to before. But I just did what felt natural. I was just me, and I did what I did. When we were little we would tell other kids exactly who we were and exactly what we liked. Maybe it was because we knew so little in life so it was easier to keep track of what we did like and didn't like, and maybe we knew who we were so well because of the same reason. Nowadays its so hard for me to except all my flaws and difference compared to another woman or even a man when I am looking at them as a potential boyfriend.

The first date is like a test of our compatibility, we test each other on almost every little thing. What is your plan for the future? what type of music do you like? do you like camping? do you like hiking? have you ever tried yoga? do you go to the gym? These questions aren't actually what they are, behind it all screams ARE YOU LIKE ME?! and if we are then great! We will set up a second date and if not then we just lost another fish in the sea.

One of the last guys I was dating our first date was specifically at a tea shop, when I asked him why he choose this place over somewhere like the Roasterie or Higher Ground (well known coffee shops in the district) he said it was because he didn't like coffee. For me this was a minor red flag since I can't survive without my morning cup of joe. Ironically the day we broke it off, I asked him to stop so I could grab a coffee before he took me home. The last date I was on was at my graduation and my date and I went out to dance, he was amazing and I can't say I was as good but I held out pretty well and I had an amazing time. It was as if he was testing my skills at dancing, seeing if I could keep up with him.

I often find myself holding back information about myself from people these days. Because what if that is their breaking point. What if that one little piece of information I tell them makes them say "I don't accept you because of..." How can we accept ourselves when other people won't accept us?

Shouldn't the answer be simple? Ignore those losers and only hangout with the people that can accept you. But it's not that simple. Humans want to please other humans. We want to be accepted and liked by all, and when we're not we dwell on the small things that make us who we are. We should be able to accept these small these, but if we can't, maybe it's because we don't like that about ourselves. Then it would be appropriate to change that right?

I recently read the book "The Rosie Project" by Graeme Simsion, about a man who falls in love with a woman and tries to change himself for her because he behaves differently then most people. As he changes himself he realizes that what he was before was just an act because he was different. The things he did such as dress horribly, follow rules exactly by the book and other things that astounded people was all in an effort to not act like a common guy and so he could stand out. But he also accepted the fact that, yes, he was different, but not as different as he thought. And he accepted that he could be and act like other humans while still knowing he was different and special in his own way like everyone else.

I should just accept the fact that I am obsessed with grape juice, and I hate folding laundry, and my attempts to cook dinner may turn out in take out meals in the future, that my favourite colour is purple and that I am wildly impatient and over think everything. I should accept these things about me. So why would I hide the 5 hugs juice boxes of grape juice, or shove all my clean unfolded laundry under the bed when someone comes over? Because I am scared I wont be accepted. I want to act ordinary. When really I am ordinary, and I am different, just like everyone else.

It may be hard to accept yourself, but maybe, just maybe, you can accept one thing about yourself at a time that you never liked before and you'll realise you are a perfectly ordinary and different person. I still haven't been able to do it, I'll still be hiding my grape juice but if I can accept it about myself one day, maybe someone else can too.

Ps. Maybe this doesn't even matter, because by the time we're all 70 years old we'll just accept who we are. But maybe I'm just over thinking all of this.

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