“I was born in the wrong generation.”
How many times have you heard someone say that, simply because they have a preference for old music, a style or a love for an artist who has died? Well, I believe that I was born into the wrong kind of world. I have fallen in love with the lost art of writing letters and thank you’s. I have an inexplicable gratitude for every kind gesture I receive. I fall in love with those who hold doors for me, or hold my stare a little longer than normal.
Being genuinely happy is something I have found to perplex people. I walk down the commons of my school, smiling at everyone I see. I have been accused of being fake, giddy and insincere. Why do we condemn and criticize those unlike ourselves? It is something that I will never be able to understand.
I take most things to heart. My mother always says, “It’s the curse of having a big heart.” She’s not wrong. I have fallen in love with the wrong kind of world. I still leave my friends voicemails, I still drive past the house I grew up in and I read my favorite books over again in hope to get a second meaning out of it. I replay every day in my head before I go to sleep at night. Is it healthy to feel this much? Is this how everyone else is?
I am misunderstood for the way I love, the way I care and the way I give. I give every relationship and friendship I have my 110 percent. I still wonder about the person I didn’t give money to on the street, or the person who sat behind me in my sophomore year of English class. I want to thank every teacher I’ve ever had for giving me a new sense and appreciation for love, life and education.
I have learned that people will misunderstand you for your intentions, or the way that you let the world affect you. I have grown in college to be bold. I like straightforwardness and intentionality. I throw people off with my forward questions. I went to confession in April, and after confessing much of my life to a priest, he began to forgive my sins. I hadn’t told him any sins. I just told him about my life. He told me that my biggest problem is that I don’t love myself, and everything else is just a symptom of this problem. Needless to say, I had an epiphany, and have spent every day since then trying to make this my goal, to love myself.
I need to fall in love with myself fully and completely before I can even attempt to let anyone else in.
This is my number one problem. I was looking for love and validation in all of the wrong places. It’s like reading the wrong textbook for a class. You can do all of the right things but get an awful grade. I did everything right, for the wrong people, for the wrong reasons. People will take advantage of you for the way that you give and love, and you mustn’t let them.
I refuse to let the world turn me into a cold person, though it should have a long time ago. My undying persistence to maintain friendships leaves many thinking I am eager, when in reality, I just love a lot, and have a hard time letting go of things that I truly care about. The problem of being misunderstood may not be a problem at all, rather a unique characteristic that requires time, work and energy. We must learn not to give our love so easily. If I continued to do this, I would be left with no love to give. I must not let everyone I meet take a piece of me with them, for then I would be left half of a person.
Do not let the world condemn you for being yourself. For being too loud, open or yourself.
This is what makes you beautiful and different. And let me tell you, being different is one of the most wonderful things you can do.
As E.E. Cummings says,
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
This is a battle I hope you always fight, and will win triumphantly if you don’t let the world turn you cold.