I try to be genuine to myself. I try to be true to who I am, and to my beliefs. This wasn’t always the case.
When I was younger, I wanted to be accepted and fit in (I think a lot of us did). As a person with a dis-ability, I think this was doubly so. Although my friends in the project, never excluded me; I may not have been first chosen, but I was included (Reflecting back on this time, I only ever felt bad about being picked last, or almost last, but I shrugged it off).
This need for acceptance and to fit in only worsened as I hit my teens, but it became more subconscious; more ingrained, so much so that I never gave it a second thought.
I finally shook it in my forties (I know, that’s a long time, but I am pig-headed and, obviously, slow to learn – I guess some behaviours are slow to change even the self-destruction ones). It’s strange, how as one ages one cares less about what other people think. I still want to feel accepted, but I won’t be bought, I won’t be used, and I won’t lessen myself, or change myself in order to be accepted by another person. It has taken me a long time, and a lot of hard lessons, to reach a place where I can live an authentic life where I can be who I am just as I am and be true to my beliefs.
I wish to be accepted by everyone I meet, but now I know that isn’t going to happen. I take it as the other person’s lost and not mine (This is probably not the best attitude to take, but it serves me, and helps me not fall back on the needy person I was). My attitude today is either accept me as I am, or not at all; the greatest “Screw it” attitude. I realize I am a decent and good person. I like to believe I treat others well, or at least I try to treat others well. I like to believe I am a good friend to my friends with each providing mutual support and love.
So yeah, I have reached a part of my life where I like who I am, where I want others to respect me for me, and where I don’t give a hoot what others think (for the most part, I still listen to advice from friends), and where I pick my friends more carefully and where that friendship provides mural support and love.
My friends are the best part of me. They always have my back and I hope they know I have their back.
—Robert Confiant 28 August 2018