When I was a kid I was shy and quiet and tried my best to have people like me. I used to agree with everything my best friend said. When I was in high school I had a small group of friends but mostly felt totally invisible. When I took a year off after high school I started feeling a little more free with myself, and when I went to college I stopped caring what people thought about me because I was smart and I was damn well going to speak up when I knew the answers.
As I’ve grown more confident I’ve become a bitch – and I’m okay with that. I speak my mind when I feel it’s necessary, I stand up for myself, I argue when I know I’m right.
Why shouldn’t I do the things that are best for me without thinking about other people’s feelings all the time. I know full well that there are people who think I’m a nasty person. I can probably name a few. In general I’m friendly, until I find cause not to be.
I’m a person that says to cyclists on the sidewalk – out loud – that it’s against city bylaws to bike on the sidewalk. I tell people getting on the bus to damn well for people to get off. One day when a kid was mistreating my daughter (he backed her into a corner when she tried to play with the train set) and his father was paying attention only to his phone I told him that it was a public space and he needed to be nice and share.
I was afraid to speak up when such things happened to me as a kid for fear of losing friends but ain’t nobody treating my kid that way.
I don’t know when the switched flipped for me, and I hope it doesn’t take as long for her. Right now she’s doing the shy thing – running away when other kids come close, hiding behind me. I wish she could be the amazing kid she is at home around other people, I wish other people knew how brilliant she was.
I’ll have to wait. I’ll have to surround her with great examples. And we’ll see.
I also hope she doesn’t lose that toddler thing of not being afraid of her emotions.
We might be alright there.