So I am sitting in Starbucks on my final few hours in the city of my birthday vacation (yes I have adopted a few too many Americanisms). I have had a trip with highs and lows. But the one thing that has astounded me is the incredible kindness of strangers.
I have been staying with people who hardly know me at all and yet I have been taxied around and nursed better by a kind chinese lady, given random compliments on the street, had a surprise birthday cake baked for me and been made to feel welcome and liked by everyone I have encountered. Well nearly everyone!
After Mr X decided to drop the bombshell that being ‘nice’ was a bad thing. It made me hugely insecure. I suddenly felt like I had been living a lie, I questioned if I had been one of those irritating people who plough through life annoying everyone and being blissfully unaware. This is one of my biggest fears- which is possibly why his comments hit a nerve. Is my kindness a form of insecurity? Maybe it is, maybe I do try too hard to make other people like me.I will admit I have never been the popular girl. My self confidence took a bashing in my childhood with a raft of bullies but I always had a best friend. One person whom my world revolved around. they were my confidant, my sister from another mister, the person whom I did everything with- and maybe that wasn’t healthy, but worse, they always left. Since I can remember, I ploughed my heart and soul into these friendships that woudl be cruelly ripped away. Well they seemed cruel, but the reality is that is life. Divorces, School changes, general growing up and growing apart- everything seemed to drive a wedge between me and this person. everytime. I guess in a way, as I got older, my relationships took this place. Men became my new best friends. I ploughed everything into my relationships. Which inevitably also broke up and dissolved.
So you woudl think- and probably are thinking- why do it? Why not invest in yourself? Why pin your happiness on another- surely that is asking for disaster. Well yes, you’re right. It is. Trouble is I don’t know how. Just as I never learnt to ride a bike properly or swim..I never learnt to be on my own. To make myself happy. The question is- how do you do that at 32? How do you learn that trick? Am I damaged goods , destined to spend my life looking for the person who completes me- be it a best friend or a partner?
Truth is I don’t know. What I do know is I am aware of it and what I do know is I am sick of people telling me to do it. Be on your own, be happy by yourself, find your inner peace blah blah. Yes I know I should listen. I am an idiot not to.
However, I am a social person, I like sharing things. I like doing things for other people. I simply don’t get a kick out of anything as much as making someone else smile or doing a good deed. In a way, thats completely selfish. I am doing that deed to make myself feel good. It is the ultimate arguement against the existence of true alturism. Well I don’t claim to be alturistic. I don’t expect my good deeds to be returned, I don’t give to receive, but I receive anyway- through their happiness, through knowing i made that persons day just a little bit brighter. I don’t know why I do this. I have a compulsion to help people, to cheer people and it makes me sound very hallmark and optimistic. Ironically I am the most pessimistic and negative person I know. I am not sure how that marries up- being nice to others while feeling crappy yourself. but I do know that it helps.
SO basically we have established I am wierd LOL. Until I find the answers I am destined to continue down the same path. But its all I can do.
I have learnt some things on this trip- do not apologise for being nice but do not be surprised that some people will resist it- it says more about them than me. Do not try to be a perfectionist. Sometimes good enough, is enough. Try not to over think what ‘may happen’ as what will happen, will happen. Try to live in the now and focus on how you feel now.
So its with a sad heart I end my trip here in the states. But it has been a good journey. I wanted to get away, I wanted to run away from my scenario at home and I know at the end of that long flight I must face reality again of no job, no flatmate and no boyfriend. But its been an adventure and for that I am grateful