You Are Who You Are

A sunrise I saw in Greece which blew my mind; the world is my oyster.
A sunrise I saw in Greece which blew my mind; the world is my oyster.

(I’d been listening to music and writing autonomously on the night this was written; this piece may have many grammar mistakes and nonsensical sentences as I’d been writing from a weird trance-like state but I’m uploading it anyways because, well, I can.)

Interestingly, since I was a kid, I’ve felt like (and been treated like by the majority) an outsider because I’m ‘mature’ and I think a lot, it bogged me down and still does now because I don’t think I’m wired to be able to turn off. I buzz with anxiety, I lose sleep over the most trivial matters, my OCD is a nightmare when I’m stressed and I over-analyse to the point of exhaustion. But- it’s all I know. Being an outsider is something better accepted rather than fought against if you know that you can’t change everything that you are in order to be conventionally accepted.

I have these fleeting moments of pride because I feel and perceive things in a heightened way which might sometimes come across almost vapid or child-like; irregardless of how childish I might seem, I’m overwhelmed with appreciation. I don’t just mean by the beauty of a sunrise in the horizon or being stunned to tears by music or an amazing film, I mean, I’m affected by people and emotions and I’m not going to be ashamed of that because I’m ridiculed by people who don’t work on that wave-length. I’m real and being sensitive and fragile is what makes me a writer and a performer. What might be the average daily bus journey occupied entirely by blocking the world out to or sleeping to some is to me a twenty minute slot of people-watching which might lead to witnessing magical moments that fuel hours of writing at home.

Over time I’ve met, and I’m still continuing to meet, some of the most dynamic individuals who might come across as confident or outspoken, just like me, but nevertheless harbour similar difficulties with being overly self-aware and critical. They also see differently, too. I like that. They don’t laugh at me because I carry an emergency notebook in my bag or because I write super quickly (and slyly) on the back of receipts at work, when I have a sudden idea. I don’t flinch when, sometimes, my friends say something deep and add a defensive self-deprecating comment afterwards, out of reflex, as if to close the conversation off because it’s too much. I don’t know why people apologise for intelligent/groundbreaking thoughts as if it’s something to be ashamed of nowadays, especially when in my company since I love all that jazz! I guess it just goes to show the repercussions of years spent trying to conceal what you are because other people don’t understand it and therefore push it aside.

It’s strange finally belonging to a collective composed of such eccentric characters because I feel as though for once, I’m at a point in my life where the right people accept me as I am: different. They don’t question it as if it’s wrong or make me feel as though it’s a burden to carry anymore. That’s brilliant, especially because I am privileged to know some of the most talented, creative and thoughtful people who I can envision changing the world in all the best ways. To be known, to be accepted, to be able to connect with humble and beautiful people over the very attributes I thought I carried alone for a long time is pretty sweet. We’re all with faults and we’re all with various issues we need to work out, but it’s a journey that doesn’t feel as lonely as it did a few years ago.

All I wanted to say really is that being different doesn’t have to be a burden if you find the right people to help you harness/embrace it. Sometimes the acceptance from a few people is enough to validate your existence and enough to finally make you stop listening to the insults and names and labels that the ones who lack understanding assign to you, as if they meant anything to start with. You are who you are.

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