I didn’t mention this (mainly because I forgot) but, the other night (with the haunted house and the antics in Dave’s living room), Helen* decided to have a little heart-to-heart with me.
Aoife, I’m drunk enough now to say this – I’m really sorry if I was mean to you in Primary School.
Err… shut your face! Ha. No, seriously, we don’t need to talk about it. Water – bridge – all that!
No but, I don’t really remember, but I know I was horrible – etc etc etc
She seemed a little ruffled and verging on upset.
I assured her - don’t worry about it! Honestly, of ALL of them, she was the least. All she did was what she had to do – going along with them. Unlike the rest, she was never actually cruel to me.
Like, even those who were, I couldn’t care less about, and wouldn’t even accept an apology from. Not because I’m angry – far from it! But because I genuinely don’t care – we were kids. I was the new girl, I wasn’t liked. But kids are cruel and kids are stupid because – whether or not they turn out to be bad people later– they have their reasons and/or they don’t know any better. They don’t think. I barely remember, anyway. I’ll admit I don’t wanna rush out and make best best friends with them or anything, but I don’t resent anyone. (Despite the odd little rant…)
It was good of her, I guess, and (though drunk) she insisted that, had she the mind she has now, she’d have acted differently. But, sure, we can all say that. We can say that the very day after something happens. We can say it mere MOMENTS after. We’d do it differently. That’s my point, 'though; that’s why she oughtn’t feel bad.
Which, btw, is something I should probably apply to myself.
I did things wrong too, ‘though. And I was just a kid. And kids are stupid. So I should forgive me like I’ve forgiven and forgotten them. It wasn’t MY fault, either.
But I kicked myself for years – convinced it was my fault: I moved to Limerick and was picked on and was convinced it would have been different if I’d acted differently. If I'd been different, I'd've been accepted - I told myself. So, I'll be different.
I’ve said this before – I was convinced that only by moving to Dublin could I prove to myself that, whatever I did wrong then, I wouldn’t do again. With the mind I have now. But that’s stupid for lots of reasons. One being that peoples’ opinion of you isn’t something you can control – no matter what front you adopt or what you say. Neither can you control how you’ll get on with each other – some people click, others don’t. (And some who click end up hating each other, and some who don’t end up loving each other) It’s not something you can control – and yet I fight that reality with everything I’ve got – I have for years!
After moving to Limerick, I learned to mask my real self. Trying (too hard) to come across as smart/bubbly/friendly/confident/cool/outgoing/whatever in varying company – never quite relaxing and never quite honest until truly comfortably with a person. When I would drop the act(s), I’d suddenly become very aware of the fact I was ”gone all quiet” – and I’d be so distracted by my lack of input that I’d almost be too busy (thinking of something to say) to listen to anyone else!
And if, naturally, I AM quiet and a little reserved, and shy away from the centre of attention, then so be it. But I don’t feel I am. I, for some reason, believe I need an act in order NOT to be… but I still don’t feel that’s me. It wasn’t before Limerick, anyway. But that was a long time ago. And I doubt I’m half as inept as I’ve convinced myself I am.
I don’t really know anymore, to be honest. Really, I think it’s ALL me. Rather than putting on a front, it’s that I'm putting a facet of myself forward… maybe? That’s a nice way to put it. And, at least, absolutely everyone does it.
“Be yourself”? Silly expression. I say, which one?? Personalities are changeable – you are who you are, added to who you want to be, multiplied by who you’re around.
*Fake name. Which is pointless. As the readers of this blog will either have never met her, or know exactly who I’m talking about.