Something happened to me yesterday. I was unfriended because of a link http://www.thrivemnnice.com/home/NiceTips/building-a-circle-of-friendsI posted about making friends in the state of Minnesota. It was bound to ruffle some feathers. I knew it would. I didn't post it with the intent to ruffle feathers; but I found myself hesitating before pushing post because I knew someone would take it personally. And someone did. And then they un-friended me. But you know what? I realized yesterday I don't care anymore. If yesterday had happened even 6 months ago I think I would have been an absolute mess. I would have been upset and confused and ruminated over it for longer then I should. But I'm different. All I thought was, "Oh well. If you can't take some humorous feedback then I don't really need you in my life."
The link hit home. It has in fact been harder then I imagined to make solid friends here. I have a lot of friendly acquaintences. I know lots of very lovely people that I think fondly of and I think, think fondly of me. The link in no way was meant to offend anyone or to say I hate all the people in Minnesota. But what has been an underlying and continuous theme for me while living here is constantly being accused of hurting people or offending people simply by being myself. Directness seems to equal confrontation. And for me it doesn't. If I have said something that rubbed you the wrong way, and our relationship is important to you, then you should tell me that something rubbed you the wrong way... when it happens. I don't read minds. There does, in fact, seem to be somewhat of a culture gap here. But me communicating differently then you does not make me an offensive, horrible person. If you are committed to viewing me in a negative light then there isn't really anything I can do about. I try very hard to be authentic and caring. Do I vent when I'm upset? Yep! Do I openly object when I have an objection? Yep! Am I emotionally reactive? Yep! But guess what? All of those things also don't make me a bad person. And quite honestly I'm tired of defending myself, or wondering if I am an asshole and don't even realize it.
The old me worried far too much about what everyone thought of me. And even up until very recently it mattered more to me what you thought about me then what I thought about myself. I have been too desperate to fit in and be accepted. And in a lot of situations it hasn't worked anyway. As soon as I break some sort of unspoken rule, I'm kicked off the island. Well I don't want on the island anymore. The past few days I have felt inner peace. Because it's such an emotional breakthrough for me to love myself enough to not care if you don't like me anymore.
I am far from perfect. But I am honest. I am direct. I am caring. I am compassionate. I am passionate. I am emotional. I am opinionated. I am me.
You can take it or leave it.