Dear Scared Me,
First things first, Scared Me – It’s okay. Whatever it is; it’s going to be okay. I wish I had this advice for well, forever. But I didn’t. Instead, I let it terrify me. I hated myself for basically everything. I hated myself for my shyness. I hated myself for my nervous tendencies. I hated myself because I didn’t fit in – anywhere. Everyone had labels. Me, well I was just me, and the me that I was — was a dull dud.
People always asked, who are you? Did you do this in school? I remember doing this, don’t you? My answer was always no. No, I didn’t go to concerts. No, I didn’t make out with XYZ under the bleachers during a pep rally at school. No, I don’t remember that time the ‘whole’ school walked out, because I didn’t do it. Who am I? I’m me. My name is ABC.
“That’s not what I mean, and you know it.” They ALWAYS YELL.
What they want to know is; what are my labels? I don’t label myself. I never have. One of the reasons I don’t is that I never fit neatly into this category or that labeled group. Though when I was younger that caused me a considerable amount of anxiety. It’s human nature to want to ‘belong.’ Whether it’s a group, a club, or whatever; people want to belong. I’ve never been one of those people. I’m fine being a misfit. This idea is absurd to some people. Those people gave me a complex. Those people caused gigantic amounts of anxiety in me, so much that I had to take pills for it for several years (though I’m no longer having to do this).
My ‘problem’ (at least, I thought it was a problem then) was that I am a deep thinker. I think everything through to the nth degree, then I think through all of the possible outcomes of a situation. After a whole lot of thinking, I make a decision. This also gives me the ability to look at every side of an issue. I’m the master at playing Devil’s Advocate. I can also argue both sides of a mock trial and win, which I did a lot of in school. Whether it’s defending Lizzie Borden from a murder conviction or convicting her; I’ve done both. This doesn’t come without problems of it’s own, but at least I am prepared for whatever is thrown at me. Life can throw me curve balls and I can hit them out of the park. The biggest problem is that I tend to invent scenarios that have little to zero chance of every surfacing, but in the minute chance that they do; I’ve got it covered (that’s a plus side).
This looking at both sides and thinking through all possible venues that my brain can think up makes me look at life three-dimensionally. I’ve learned it is more typical for people to look at life unilaterally or bilaterally. They either look at things from only their point of view, or they only look at it from theirs and the opposing side. Very few (a few like me) look at it from their point of view, the opposing view, and the points of view of anyone else that may be implicated in a decision. Then we few – we happy few – continue to think of repercussions of whatever is at hand from all those same sides too. We are the DEEP THINKERS (if you feel the need to wear a label).
This also makes me never, ever fit into defined categories. I think too much about stuff, so it just isn’t possible. I look at things from the past, present, and think of all the ways things can go in the future, and I find too many discrepancies. Because of this, I stay away from labels. This made me weird in earlier life. This made me anxious. This made me want to be someone else. This made me want to be ‘normal.’ This made me want to cry. And yet, this made me.
I’ve only realized in the last few years that it’s okay not to belong. It’s okay to be unlabeled. I wish I had known this earlier in life though, because it would have made me a lot less anxious. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to simply be — me.
That’s what I want to leave you with, Scared Me. That single last line there. It’s okay to simply be me. I’m not required to justify myself. I’m not required to prove anything. People will either like me or they won’t. People will come and go. The problem isn’t us. We are who we are, and that’s okay.