I’ve come to realise that as a general rule I assume that the people around me are mind readers. Even my hubby who I have been good friends and then besties with since I was 13 doesn’t know a large portion of what goes on in my head. When talking to him and other friends/acquaintances and sometimes even my kids I have an assumption that they know what I know about me and assume they’ll just get things without all the information. In fact I then feel super embarrassed about having shared a thought at all when people need clarification or misunderstand me. I assume I’m just being stupid and vow not to speak up next time. I’ve gotten bolder with age and care less about what people think of me but I still assume I’ve been judged poorly when in fact, the person I’m speaking to probably just doesn’t understand the context or language I’m using.
I guess talking about myself and my thoughts brings that shy little girl back out of her hole. Why on earth would anyone want to know what goes on in my head? I’m so dull, boring and broken. But talking about the broken, sharing the dull mundane isn’t necessarily as lame to others as I assume it is. Of course its not as important to another person as it is to me and yes judgment is par for the course but I honestly believe that when others judge it’s more about them than it is about me (or the person being judged). Not in a pointing fingers at the assholes kinda way but more that when you don’t have a full framework of knowledge about a topic or a person you are inherently acting on misinformation and misunderstanding. Judgement and fear are normal human emotions when you are exposed to something new and frightening. We grapple for familiar concepts, imagery and language to ground ourselves.
Yes there are bigoted and cruelly judgemental people but those aren’t the kinds of people I generally find myself in conversation with and those kinds of people are dealing with their own problems and insecurities anyway. For our family having moved across the world, dragging ourselves out of poverty and quite quickly climbing the ladder into a comfy middle class position the people we come into contact with had a very different upbringing to us.
Not only did many people grow up in a different country to us but more importantly they are from a different socioeconomic background. Our friends grew up comfortably middle class, they finished high school and got university degrees. They rent or own homes in nicer parts of London or travel into London every day so they can have a nicer house. I used to feel like I was lesser, like I wear my housing commission (council housing) child hood, lack of education, teen parenthood on my sleeve quite literally since I still dress like a dag and my second hand clothing doesn’t fit into the same class as the eco-conscious charity shoppers. I wear second hand clothes even if they’re ill fitting and falling apart, I’m cheap and I look it.
We rented and then bought a home in London without prejudice or concern for the postcode we’d be living in. We purchased a house in a rougher area of London because it was value for money with good transport links that suit our lifestyle. I don’t say that to brag (sorry if it sounds like it) but just to illustrate that often our priorities are different to our friends. It wasn’t us slumming it and making sacrifices it was what we naturally did because you don’t spend more for a postcode or a suburb name; for nicer surroundings or to fit in with/live near friends. We try to live within our means to secure a better future. Sacrifice today’s comforts for tomorrow’s success. I completely understand that others have different priorities and I’m in no way judging anyone else, just simply analysing my own feelings of being lesser than those around us. It isn’t lesser, just different.
I for as long as I can remember worried that the people around us wouldn’t like me, that they’d judge me for my inherent differences but I see it differently now. We just have different backgrounds. There is no good or bad; lesser than or more than; better or worse.
I felt that by being the lesser party (poorer, from a rough background) in a friendship it was up to me to understand their alternative reality because the middle-classes are better represented in the media than someone that grew up like me…but I don’t think that’s how they see it…and if it is how they see it then that is just them coming from a place of misinformation and misunderstanding of me and who I am. That’s their issue, not mine. Again I have no ill feelings about that! We all discover things at our own pace.
So this was a very round about way of me saying that I’m going to share more of my internal monologue on here without fear of judgement. It’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to be misunderstood and not to say things with flair and perfection. My grammar is lacking and my spelling can be god-awful. I’m not well educated but goodness do I read a lot! It’s okay to not be like anyone else and on the other hand its okay to be boring and EXACTLY like everyone else. This is how we grow and learn about other human beings.
I’m going to stop trying to be more than and just be me.