The bottom line of most relationships is to either entertain or validate.
(Disclaimer: if you don't agree, I don't want the job of debating and if, after you read this, if you even read this all the way through, carefully with an open mind, and you think I need correction, you have missed the point of this post. If you insist, please write your own post expounding your own ideas.)
Perhaps, my opening may be an obvious statement to some, but it took me a few moons to understand. This is not a complaint but rather a clarification of a confusion with which I long wrestled. More accurately, it is an exposition of an intimidation running our societies: comply or be left alone on the Savannah to rot. Currently, otherwise, gratefully, I can enjoy the benefits gleaned by fitting in without paying society's threat's ransom, fear. For example, I am not in fear that if I don't teeter around on nine-inch heels, advertising a false idea that I have long legs, I will not capture your attention. I have zero interest in capturing your attention with lures I do not naturally possess. Your attention is not that important to me.
To begin this, what is my worth based upon if not compliance to society's threat's demands? How do you estimate you own worth? How do you base another person's worth to you?
In my corner over here, from birth, my worth was based on how others compared me to their ideals. If I fit their ideals, I was worthy, if I did not, their response was one of disappointment. Evident? For sure, but for many years, I struggled, jumping over hurdles, hoping to reach those imposed ideals. When I couldn't, I believed there was something off with me.
What a surprise and liberation to discover there is nothing off with me. My biology at birth was a combination of whatzits from my parents and ancestors; a compilation of generations passing inherited whatzits down to me. Overall, I was born with good enough whatzits to live well, even if, in comparison, my whatzits are not the best.
(Indeed, what is the best anyway? The top position is continuously appropriated by a new improved best. Therefore the last toppled best was not the best then? Was it only a temporary best until a new best arose? Wouldn't that make it then a good enough for now and not an accurate representation of the word best?)
Through my life, as I interacted with my environment, I had to use my whatzits to actively respond. Unfortunately, more frequently than not, other people graded my whatzits not good enough.
I was a disappointment to many people. I was not beautiful enough, smart enough or entertaining enough and sometimes, I was too much of something which all added up to the same grade, not good enough.
I was first a disappointment to my father who wanted a son. Now explain to me, how could I ever please a man who was demeaned by the birth of a daughter? In reflection, I see his need as pathetically insecure but to a tiny girl child, the message was devastating. In addition, I was a disappointment to my mother because my inquiring mind did not obey without question. How could I satisfy a woman who believed good behavior was measured through obedience while curiosity and questioning were negative components. Disturbed by my challenging creativity, she tried to snuff it out. Honoring my out of the box questions was beyond what she could do. In both cases, as in all the disappointments, it was more about my parent's and other's needs and had very little to do with me.
My failure-to-please list goes on and on. From my parents, sibling, children, and friends, who come and go in my life, the disappointments I have caused, calculate in the many thousands. I won't, however, bore myself or you in remembering them. These days, I am practicing an 'oh well' concern when someone communicates I am of no value or even if what I produce is of no value. Cloning myself to someone's specifications has become abhorrent to me. A few years ago, I stepped off the wheel of competition and have been conscious of staying off it ever since. It's not easy since everyone I know continues spinning on that merry-go-round, reaching for the ringing sound that announces, they are worthy! Whenever another bothers me, I know it's my competitive residue pounding its chest.
I watch while they dress to impress, learn new ways of talking a good game and read up on the expert's suggestions on how to win and influence people. Not for me. I shun - how to improve yourself articles; this self-help genre is just another way to fit in. Improvement to become closer to a whatever- ideal demeans me. Learning about my natural whatzits and growing them is not an improvement but rather a liberating process.
I am focused on discovering my unique whatzit. Sadly, having spent too long on the merry-go-round, my whatzit is less apparent except for my unrelenting curiosity and constant questioning of my thinking habitual patterns. This has remained glaringly visible.
I am not concerned about the rest being less discernible, peeling off the cloned shit is a labor of love. I would rather exercise patience baring my ethereal whatzit than spending time shaping myself into what others want from me.
Please do not mistake my words for advice on how to be - only you can know this. Please be advised, I am not the God of you and do not know what's best for you.