Too quiet. Too talkative. Too smart. Stupid question. Too girly. Too tomboy. Too aggressive. Don’t let them walk all over you!
My mind always argues with itself over whether I should walk away from a situation or face it head on…and then how I should face a situation if I decide to stay. It’s always so confusing, especially when my thoughts about my behaviors always contradict themselves.
If I’m simply listening to the lecture and doing my own work, I’m being too quiet and keeping to myself too much. Will I really know if I understand the information if I don’t discuss it? If I try to have conversations with the students around me, I’m being too pushy because what if they don’t want to have any kind of relationship with me? If I walk too fast to my car, it seems like I’m running away from something. If I walk too slow, it may seem as if I’m lost on a campus I’ve been at for years. If I work too hard, I’m ignoring my relationships. If I worry about my friends too much, I’m procrastinating on my work. It’s always so confusing!
But some things, surprisingly, don’t get debated in my head (despite my wishes).
I’ll be honest. I’ve had a tough past. A lot of us have. I’ve had an especially hard last few years. Many of you know what I’m talking about. I got betrayed by the people I held dearest to heart. I got used and taken advantage of by my first love. I got abandoned by the one person I never thought would leave me. I got heartbroken and felt ten times the pain I ever thought was possible. It was rough.
So when someone, especially a boy, comes up to me, my body tenses. When he tries to get to know me, I can feel myself being guarded. When he smiles and asks how I am, I doubt he really cares and wonders what his motives are.
And, I’m sorry, for all the wonderful boys who have probably had an encounter with me during the past year. It’s a defensive mechanism, I guess. I want to walk away. I want to fled the scene. I don’t want to get hurt again. I get scared and I immediately want out even though nothing has even happened yet.
Through the past few years, through all the tormenting events in my life, it’s become some sort of instinct. It’s an automatic response. It is my involuntary reaction to what is happening around me.
Sometimes…correction, most of the time I want to change this reaction I have. I don’t want to be so scared for someone to want to get close to me. I don’t want to always feel defenseless when someone approaches me. I don’t want to feel vulnerable and think there’s no other option than to get hurt in the end.
I know there are hundreds and hundreds of wonderful people out there in the world. I know there are so many people I’ve already probably ruined the chance of getting to know. I am fascinated by how different we all are and how our past as molded us to become who we see in the mirror each and every day. But, this defensive response, this instinct I always have blocks me from these precious encounter.