I have cultivated an online and sometimes real life persona that is perceived to be something a bit different from who I really am. This has become somewhat painfully obvious.
Online, people have a tendency to see me as a feminist robot with a multitude of passions who is not afraid to express an opinion (often backed by research and facts) and duke it out with anyone who doesn’t agree with that opinion. Assertive. Blunt. Somewhat Caustic. Determined. We could go down the alphabet pointing out adjectives that people have labeled me with and as well as some not-so-nice nouns like bitch and cunt and [gasp] feminazi. Here at home…well…emotionless has been used more than once along with those not so nice nouns.
Part of this is my own fault. I have problems letting my vulnerabilities show even with people I see in my everyday life. I hold my cards close and have trouble even giving a peek at what I may have in my hand. I’ve always been that way. I’m introverted. There’s no shame in that. But, it means the way I socialize can be fairly limited. I don’t hang out with “the girls” and go have fruity drinks with lots of laughs.
People see that and tend to judge. Why doesn’t she have friends? Maybe it’s because she’s such a bitch… And in that way, it’s out of my control and out of my hands because there are clues to the real me that can be seen if a person really pays attention instead of getting angry because I didn’t agree with whatever issue they decided to argue with me on… I mean, if you attempt fate by taking the bull by the horns, you really can’t get too pissed off when you get gored. But, people do, man…they really do. Most of the time when you come into a conversation prepared to “teach me a lesson” you’re the one who’s going to get schooled. (see, that’s why people think I’m a bitch right there…sigh). When you look at the big picture, though, I’m not exactly the cold-hearted, uncaring monster that people have made me out to be.
I care about big issues, and yes, I am passionate about those issues, but part of that comes from having a big heart. I could never write prisoners the way I do and not have one. It takes a committed, caring, empathetic person to be able to do what I do.
I have 17 animals I live with. Almost all of those are rescues. I felt the need to give these animals homes, and if I had the room, I would have more.
I cry when I read books especially when characters die. It’s often the same with movies especially older Disney cartoons. Fuck, I can’t even watch the Fox and the Hound without turning into a big pile of tears and snot.
I have used money I really couldn’t afford to spend to donate to a worthy cause for a child or an animal because GODDAMN IT WHEN YOU POST THOSE STORIES AND PHOTOS…ALL THE FEELS, MAN. ALL THE FEELS….yeah.
When I do have extra money, I tend to surprise my friends with gifts or I like to anyway. I know money doesn’t buy friendship, but I love saying “hey, while I was out, I thought about you…”
When I worked in a pharmacy, I would actually go home and research conditions and medications and insurances and discount programs for various customers and call them from my own phone on my own dime and on my own time just to give them extra help when they needed it… It wasn’t for me, for my job, or because my boss asked me to. I did it because I cared about their well-being and wanted to help in any way possible.
I’m not trying to brag about who I am, but sometimes my cultivated reputation seems to get in the way of people really getting to know me for who I am. People seem to develop these ideas about a me that I often don’t recognize because I know examples like those I mentioned to be the truth, and I want people to see THAT version of me just as much as the one that will cut them to down in a debate. That’s the me that I know and the me I’m proud of—the balance between the badass and the softie. At times, it hurts to realize that someone I have thought was pretty cool really sees only the more obvious parts of my personality never bothering to notice what’s underneath all that.
At the end of the day, though, it’s not my fucking problem if people miss what’s easy to find with a little effort, so all I can do is continue to be me and not worry about my bad reputation. It does have its benefits…it certainly lets me know who’s worthy of my time.
This has been, as always, a part of Sunday Confessions with More than Cheese and Beer. The prompt was "cultivate." Check out hers and the other link ups from other bloggers today!