I'm feeling a bit depressed. What makes depression so difficult to handle at this point in my life is that I don't have the luxury of crawling up in a ball with a bag of cookies and a TV remote and waiting it out. I have responsibilities to my family, most especially my daughter. I can't allow her to see me like this. So I solider on hoping to distract myself with chores and errands and projects, but lingering, always lingering, is this bit of sadness.
I'm caught between worlds, you see; the world of the cool and the world of the not. For all of my life, I've somehow found myself in the first; comfortable in most all social situations, outgoing and happy. But even now, as I look back over my teen to adult life, while the "being on" part came easy and I enjoyed it, I was always relieved when it was over and I could get "down time". What does that say about me? Am I pretending to be social and outgoing? Is it a role I play when the curtain goes up? I don't think so. But as I get older, it does take some channeling of character to "be on". And frankly, some days, I'm just not up for it.
The problem with cool is that it is relatively subjective. Any group of people with common interests and ideals will think they are superior to another group with opposing interests and ideals. That may be part of my problem as of late. I've never been one to agree with all of what one person or group was preaching. I have friends that ride both sides of the great divide. I like that; it allows me to form an opinion of my own based on all the information. I never want to believe my thoughts are the only ones that count because I've eliminated the opposition. But this isn't about politics. Let me get back on point.
This is about it being OK to be me - whether I'm on or off, up or down, thin or fat, young or old. And it's not just about me being OK with me, but the way I am should be OK with the world too. Not because I need the world to like me, but because, I have value and that should be enough. I have value (as well we all do, because I'm speaking on behalf of anyone who may be feeling this way) in this world, period. Don't devalue me because I don't look a certain way, or share the same opinions as you, or happen to live my life differently from yours. I have value, regardless. Do I always place value on others? C'mon, we've all read this blog long enough to know the answer is I don't. Do I think I'm at fault too? Absolutely.
But why now, at the age of 42 (Christ!), do I feel like the kid not knowing where to sit in the cafeteria. I would be fine sitting with any group because I could be comfortable almost anywhere, but none will have me unless I join in body and mind which I can't commit to, and frankly, after all is said and done, I'd rather sit by myself. See? I'm not cool.
Let me give you a concrete example: I don't drink alcohol. My husband is a 12 stepper, but even before I decided to support him, I was pretty well finished with my drinking days. You can't imagine the looks you get when you're not drinking in a social setting. Or the invitations that don't get extended to you because you're glass will have soda in it instead of scotch. Or the jokes that are said to your face (all in good fun, of course) or the sneers that are made behind your back... all because you have chosen, for your health and peace of mind, to not drink alcohol. This is not whether or not I am for or against abortion or the death penalty or some other high profile, temper flaring topic. This is about whether or not, my husband and I will drink. Now, you tell me that I don't have a right to feel devalued for no good reason. And then, tell me that I should just get over it. And then, tell me that I shouldn't want to just become a hermit.
Let me give you another one (since my sadness is turning to anger and a good rage always gets the words flowing): I've said it before, I'm short and I'm fat. Am I working on it? Always. Could I work harder? Of course. Will I? Well, that all depends. Am I doing it for you who apparently is too embarrassed to be seen with me or am I doing it for me. Because frankly, some days, I don't care what I look like and it makes me sick to my stomach that your looks are all you care about it. And you have to nerve to look down on me. (Whew! This is getting a bit personal. I'd better switch gears.)
I am more than what you think of me. I am to be valued, as you would expect the same for yourself. You don't have to like me, but you should appreciate my right to be who I am. And who knows, before you devalue me, you might consider appreciating me for me. You might just think I'm cool.