That word.

I was always a weird child. While never anything closely resembling “popular”, I wasn’t ever quite the leper, the weird girl who wore cat sweaters and ate paste. I had friends. But never very many, and for every 1 person that genuinely liked me, there were 2 people who didn’t. Who thought I was “annoying”.

Now, annoying behavior encompasses many things. As I got older, my peers were able to better articulate what it was they didn’t like about me. That I talked too much. That I was loud. That I always tried to be involved in a conversation/fit in/was too clingy. Sure, there have been other disliked qualities, but never quite as universally agreed on, nor have consistently spanned quite so many years as these few.  And while they have been toned down to a large extent over the years (a fact I was discussing just the other day…that for someone to picture how I was in high school, they should visualize how I act when I’ve had a drink or 2…and then exaggerate THAT  times ten.), occasionally it comes up.  Sometimes it’s joking, sometimes it’s not (and sometimes I’m not sure).  And when it’s not, the party in question will usually bring up a particular one, not the “trifecta”.

But occasionally, I’ll get the word “annoying”.  And after almost 25 years, that one still stings.

The fact is, at the risk of sounding cocky, I am a fairly self-realized person.  While I make no claims that I need no improvement (far from it), I have a pretty clear idea of who I am as a person, what my strengths are, and more importantly, what my weaknesses are (Now this is not to say that I know who I am going to be for the rest of my life. At the age of 24, that would be quit e presumptuous).  Which is why when people make generalized assumptions about me, or act as though they have me “figured out”, it angers me more than anything else can.  I’m a realistic person, and while there are plenty of things I do wrong in life, “deflecting” is not one of them.

While my abilities at fixing said weaknesses is another matter entirely (because knowledge and action don’t always go hand in hand, the latter takes a great deal more work), I am aware of them.  Of how they hold me back.  Or in this case, of how they drive others away.

I know that I talk a great deal.  Usually, when I’m excited or passionate, and often when I’m nervous too.  I have been that way, literally, since before I spoke my first actual word.  Some people call it babble, or rambling (when it’s the nervous talking), and more recently someone was kind enough to affectionately refer to it as being “verbose”.

I also know that I speak very loudly.  Whether it stemmed from being in performing arts for the majority of my life, or a need for attention… who knows.  It usually comes out when I’m excited, passionate, or just downright pissed about whatever the topic is.

But the fact is… it’s who I am.  I continually try to become more concise, or just shut my mouth entirely…but it doesn’t work all the time.  I try to be more aware of my volume, and do a fair job of controlling it about half the times…as a result it usually only gets past me when, I’m not paying attention.  And I try to be more concise, but most of the time I feel like when I am, I’m misunderstood (and as I mentioned before, I hate being misunderstood), so I constantly feel like I need to compensate and clarify.

I guess there is no real point to this post.  No grand epiphany, no vow to do better (as I already have been trying for years), just a quiet “huh” moment where I realize how much one little word has so much power to tap into all my deep seated insecurities (in addition to those closer to the surface).  Obviously, it depends on who that word is coming from.  But I know that I ultimately care too much about what others think and feel about me, and at this point, I’m trying to figure out how much is stuff that I need to change about myself (as self improvement is always part of my M.O) and how much is me just adopting an “If you don’t like me for me, then too fucking bad” attitude.

As with most things, it’s probably not as simple as one or the other, but a combination of the two.  I just need to figure out the formula.



~ by Alli on Saturday, December 5, 2009.

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