I don’t give a damn if people like me, and it’s incredibly liberating. I’m finally at a point in my life where my personal needs are a major priority, that I won’t apologize for. I’m done raising my family and no longer come in third. Some might say it’s selfishness, if that’s how you were raised. I beg to differ. My actions are born from the essential elements that make me happy – it is not selfish. Like most, I gather fundamental elements that help to fill a menu of actions to choose from. However, in the process of building a decent and productive life there have been situations where I haven’t always been reflected in a flattering light. In other words, I may screw up in a way that can cause people to misinterpret who I really am; to dislike me. That being said, let me introduce myself.
Growing up we were taught to be nice and polite to others, worthy virtues. Following these tenants was pretty easy and implanted a simple message of friendship, love and harmony. Do unto others, and all that. The part “they” fail to mention is that you must do unto yourself as well. Learn what is important to you and chase it. Chase it with everything you have! It could mean missing out some time with your children, spouse or friends. It could mean missing a game or a play or a dinner. In the long run it’s not fatal. You juggle, but it’s ok to drop a few balls, or catch some balls for yourself. I have forgone many evenings with my family to attend University classes because I told myself it was the right thing to do. I was chasing and they were stationary. That time in my life weeded out those who had disdain for my “selfish” dreams and ambitions, with those who cared about my success. Again, a character misinterpretation. Don’t hate me because I am fragile.
Long ago were the days when you could make a friend at a playground by just saying, “Hi. Do you want to be my friend?” I find it incredibly difficult to make friends today. There are trust issues that swirl around my conscience. Can I open up to this person, tell them who I really am? And, there are people who meet you and just don’t like you. You can always tell by body language, reactions and lack of interest. Sometimes I let myself wonder why someone doesn’t like me. I try to brush it away not wanting to feel rejected. I hate that feeling. I try to think back to the first impression. I remember what they said and how I responded. Was I an ass? Should I have been more attentive? Usually, the answer is no. I was myself, and if that doesn’t cut it then sorry, you lose. It might be simple chemistry. Either way, you’re meant to be friends or not.
So, who doesn’t like me? I really don’t care. I’ve filled countless days with blessings and delight.
I have two wonderful children, a devoted spouse, a supportive family and a crew of really cool friends. I try to stay acutely focused on the positive forces in my life. It helps. I won’t feel bad about my choices, my downfalls, my missteps, my victories and achievements because it’s all part of who I am. If I see you out, I might say, “Hi. Do you want to be my friend?” And if you say or think “no” that’s OK. I’ll always be here if you need me. That’s what I’ve been taught. You know, I now realize, I really do care who likes me. I’m not basing my worth on it, but I’m hoping to find a new friend.