Why I Don’t Want Everyone to Like Me

I don’t care if you like me.

Why? Because there is billions upon billions of people in the world. How can they all like me? It’s asinine. No one can have everyone like them so stop trying. It’s an impossible task. Work on liking yourself. There will always be someone who finds a flaw in you, or someone who doesn’t like an inflection in your voice, or thinks your face is weird, or who thinks you are too tall/thin/fat/stinky/giggly/morose/loud/quiet/vivacious/etc – who cares? There are plenty of people who will jive with you (and me) – it’s called flocking – people who get you, will get you. If they don’t, oh well.

Find people who mesh with your style, your thought-patterns – and find others who are not normally your style who intrigue you, too – if you always stick with the same sort of pals, you won’t really grow or learn.

But the people who hate on you, just move on. When they don’t like you, that makes a space for someone who does, OR space for YOURSELF.

Imagine for a minute that EVERYONE liked you. Would you have a moment in the day for yourself? Would you be constantly telling people “Sorry, booked til next June, I have so many plans! Ahh, people won’t leave me alone!”

I dunno how celebrities do it, but I can kind of see how they can brush it off (hopefully) – they don’t even have enough time to talk to all the people who LOVE them, let alone waste time on people who don’t!

It’s a waste of energy. Do you have people in your life who love you? A few? Then that is gold. And it is also a sign that you have plenty of awesomeness to share, and the people who will adore you will find you, just put yourself out there. Ignore the bad stuff – there is always bad, but look through it, there is always bitchin’ stuff on the other side.

I’m Glad I Was Never Popular

Age 16, Vancouver, Dominatrix shirt.

Long before high school, there was the horror of grade four. And grade seven.

These two years traumatized me, especially the latter, for I was 11/12, gawky, completely defenseless, and therefore, the easiest target. I was also the youngest.

I had huge glasses, a weird scar, crooked teeth, frizzy hair that I never brushed, terrible make-up, pimples, and no style.

I was called a cacophony of names and whenever out of the classroom, it was an onslaught. I rode my bike to and from school, even at lunch time – I lived a block away. I wanted to get out of there as fast as humanly possible. My teachers always knew what was going on, and this is why during class was a fairly safe time.

The summer before grade 8, I went to summer camp with the only friend I had – and even though I was not bothered with the same bullshit as in school. I was still easy to corner and got teased incessantly for new reasons. I ended up loathing camp, refusing to ever return.

During that summer I buried myself in magazines for the first time. I actually learned some grooming skills. I started to care a little bit about how I looked and it progressed the more I read. Fashion magazine became an obsession, and as I got older, I got to buying about nine on a monthly basis.

In high school I started out well – it was daunting, but at first, things were calm. I attribute it to everyone just settling in, because after a few weeks, all the shit from elementary school followed me into a bigger, nastier crowd. It was also coming into the classroom with me – people never hesitated to harass me as I sat at my desk, and even though I was starting to look better, my sensitive nature was like a green light for jerks.

I was a good student. Once all the in-class bullying started, though, I began to skip class. A lot. I never got detention for it, either. I’m not sure how. My grades dropped – I didn’t care. I became  obsessed with music. In grade 8 I latched on to late 80s and early 90s gangsta rap, along with any sort of perverted hip hop I could find. You’d never have pegged me for being into it – I was never without my walkman and once when I had run out of batteries I skipped class to go get some. My mother was horrified at my musical choices and tried to confiscate my cassette tapes, but my absolute agony at having it taken away made her relent. Listening to some of those things now shocks me – however anything “bad” about it never affected me at age 12. I just found it amusing, and I liked the rhythm.

In grade 9 I changed completely. I got into Guns N’ Roses and quickly changed into an elitist about music. I thought if you used anything other than REAL instruments, it was sub par and not music! I started growing out my bangs and got a leather biker jacket. There was still another part of me that wanted to fit in, and I tried a little to conform based on what I looked at in magazines.

Those things were never what people in my school were doing much of (I grew up in a small town) and so any time I tried to emulate the beauty I saw in those pages, it looked ridiculous to people in my school. I quickly gave up. I think I tried for about a week to “fit in” by what I wore.

At least in high school I had some friends. Only one of them really had the same interests as me, but we had a falling out in grade 10 and she went to another school. People still harassed me, but not as much. I barely went to class and usually had my walkman on. I started to cultivate a hard stare, and if anyone did bother me, my defenses started to show.

All I cared about was music and boys. I would look at them all from a distance. No one in my grade was my type – I liked the metal-heads and the skater boys (especially them!) with the long hair. They were all oblivious to me (I think) and I had no courage to do anything about it.

When I skipped class, I read, quite a lot. I would go downtown to raid the indie music shop. I would draw, take photos, and write. Often I’d sneak into the computer lab and write stories. Sometimes I’d write my little ass off until 9pm when they closed the school.

Age 15, downtown Vancouver at Zulu Records.

I don’t know if it was just a build-up of rage, or if it was that combined with aspirations to be like the badass female musicians I looked up to – but around grade 10 was when I started to be a wolverine.

The first time I ever stuck up for myself was grade 7 when I screamed NOOO at someone egging me on to kiss some gross dude. The second time was grade 8 when I slapped the guy beside me in class as he was getting up to tell my guy friend I wanted to fuck him (a lie! I was 12!). I slapped someone else, too, for an unknown reason. I think I just did it to feel like I could. In my imagination, I would try to picture punching someone, and even in my head I failed. So when I finally knew I could, and I wouldn’t get laughed at, I think I just wanted to replicate my “beginner’s luck.”

That was the last time I was ever violent, though there was one time at the bus stop that I took something the wrong way and started making kicking motions and flipping out at this acquaintance of mine. Talk about spaz. This may have been the pinnacle moment of  I-Can’t-Take-it-Anymore! I dunno, but remembering that just now…it seems likely.

I started losing friends, too – maybe I said inappropriate things to make myself seem better than them – who knows. I was really meek inside, but strong, too. I am still that way – ultra sensitive but also rioting constantly. Endless internal warring – not just against myself, but society as a whole.

In grade 11, I really embraced being the outsider. I dyed my hair, wore all black, skulked around with a scowl. Once rumours spread that I had  secret piercings, people began to think I was crazy. They started to leave me alone. I finally knew that being “different” = “nuts” and that “nuts” = being left alone.

Age 17 with my friend Tami.

I reveled in being the outcast at this point. I was outwardly vocal about my strange preferences, and equally dismissive and mysterious about whether rumours regarding me were true or not. After the piercings thing, everything died down. I was as weird as I wanted to be with no one bothering me – THIS, in a small town high school, was amazing.

I enjoyed my solitude but I also was lonely. I eventually had a close friend in a grade below mine, and we went to concerts together and lusted after the same wild musicians. Ultimately, though, I was on my own. I spent so much time filling myself with the things I loved. The time I did not spend in class I spent learning the things that mattered to me. I barely attended school, but somehow I passed all but one course (math 10, which I promptly ruled over in summer school). I did go to the classes I enjoyed but they were all art-related. In grade 12, all of my electives were art or photography or graphics, except for Western Civilization (I’m still not sure why I took this as it bored me – I also took English Literature, the only class i ever dropped).

Also in the final year of school, people never provoked me. Despite that, I still carried my defenses. I do to this day (it’s not really an easy thing to let go of). I still feared it. I still do.

In my schools, there were popular people, but not really popular “cliques.” If there had been I would have been badgered much worse than I was, I’m sure. The hassle I got was from the general populace – it could have been from anyone.

There were definite groups, and I hung out with a bunch of people who didn’t really fit in with any of them – we weren’t nerds, or theatre geeks, or freaks – we were a weird mix. I’m surprised I didn’t jive with the people who got stoned and went to punk shows – I was the lone goth kid in school until I hit grade 12. I was never really drawn to druggies and slackers – I hated school but I loved to learn. I dealt with my angst by writing and drawing.

I’m glad I was never popular. I’m GLAD I got picked on. It made me withdraw, it made me see what most people are like. It made me want to get away from the mainstream bullcrap that most people end up doing.

Why? Even when people are not “popular” they just drift through school in a nonchalant way, they tend to buy into what they are told – go to school, college, get job, get married, get house, have kids, have debt, go insane, have crisis, get sick from bad lifestyle + stress, go into more debt, wither away, get degenerate disease, die.

It’s practically ingrained in us from day one – we watch our parents, we watch TV, we read magazines, we get taught a particular curriculum that teaches everyone the same thing, and we are all pushed in a similar direction – to be drones. To respect “authority” instead of becoming authority! Over ourselves!

I’m glad I was not popular – I am glad I was the outcast. I was able to start seeing the underlying threads. I’ve never been convinced of this so-called life – the one that most people seem to aspire to.

Shunning the majority of school made me smarter.

I had more time to pursue my real interests, and my natural curiosity and love of learning (we all have it!) came back x 10000.

Being bullied made me stronger + able to speak my mind, to defend myself, and to defend OTHER people (and animals).

Being an outcast made me enjoy my own company.

It also allowed me to observe how most of the world operates and why so many people are unhappy. When you move with the flock, you tend to do what they do. When you’re left on your own, you see all the alternatives.

Being a loner made me introspective.

I still got a little lost along the way. I still got into the whole “work force” as I did not know my real options, I had low self esteem and crippling depression and anxiety (from both an unhealthy diet + all the stuff I just mentioned) – also I was told most of my life to “be realistic” when it came to jobs, money, life – I still am told this now, but I don’t listen. I am finally at a point where I feel strong enough, whole enough, and complete enough to really go after anything I want.

You really have to believe in yourself (how fucking corny….) – but really. What is the other option? You gonna believe everyone that tells you that you have to be “realistic?” In who’s reality? Theirs? If you choose to believe them, then they are right. If you choose to believe yourself, you are also right – whether you say to yourself “I can’t” or “I can.” Personally I want to prove everyone wrong, and prove myself right.

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. Ayn Rand (not a Rand fan, but love this quote.)

Snipping Ties

I’ve always been the type to want to keep people in my life, no matter what. I figure, if I loved them or cared for them at some point, then I always would.

I forgive very easily. I have not had things done to me that I find unforgivable – even if I am angry for a long time, eventually I move past it, and want the person back in my life in some way, or at least to make peace with them.

I stay curious – I wonder how they are, what they’re doing, how their life is. I give a shit.

This has changed recently.

It began when I was on facebook, and was getting random rude comments from someone I had dated in 2003, someone who I still really liked and admired. The comments were completely brash and uncalled for.

The first time I considered deleting him, but part of me didn’t want to let go. The last time he did it, I really mulled it over (not for very long) and thought, “What is this person adding to my life?”

I came to the conclusion that he really added nothing. He had at one point (sort of) but staying connected with him really was doing me no good, so I bit my lip and hit the unfriend button.

Instead of feeling regret, I felt relief.

I’ve done this before, in real life situations – it sucked, but the relief always came. I always thought it would lead to panic, but instead it cut the ties to negative influence.

My nostalgic ways are lessening. I have always looked backwards, and now want to look forward. I’ve learned enough from my past, and still learn now – but my past  has already shown me what I need to know – I don’t need to cling to it.

Within the last month I’ve dropped three people I kept a hold on. One was a friend who never forgave me for something minor and accidental – I held hope for about 4 years that she would come around, but she never did, so I gave up – that hopeful energy is now released and can be directed elsewhere.

Another is an ex-boyfriend who I never really got over. I felt as if when he came to town, he only ever invited me to his shows as a way to get a bigger audience. I didn’t feel that way at first, but when I asked to hang out outside the show, I got no responses. This has happened for years. I sent him another message saying  I would stop pestering him and “See ya, have a beautiful life.”

I am not angry or hateful to any of these people – I just am letting them go so I can move on with my life and make room for others. I wish these people nothing but love and happiness – I do still care for them, but in order for a friendship to be worthwhile it has to be reciprocal!

I have enough acquaintances – I want real, strong friendships, and that is what I want to focus my love on – not broken threads.

Though, sometimes, people surprise me and come back into my life – bigger, stronger, more loving! I love when this happens, and I do welcome people back with open arms, as long theirs are outstretched too.

So snip the people out of your life who do nothing to uplift you and accept your love, whether it be in real life, your business, facebook, whatever. You only get a limited time in a human body, you might as well make it as positive an experience as you can.