Then I thought that I should share them with the rest of the world. So here is the first.
|Jeanne Samary by Renoir|
At various times I've lived in fear of being unwanted. I would worry that nobody liked me, that people didn't approve of me.
That fear shaped my mannerisms as I interacted with others. Often I faked my way through, smiling big when I thought I should, laughing at jokes I didn't get, faking interest in the conversation when I actually thought it was stupid. Afterwards I would feel strange, knowing I had put on a "face" for the world. It was unsatisfactory. Awful, as Goldman frankly says.
This still happens but I am more aware of it. I am trying instead to listen to the people who encourage me, and to believe them-- to believe that they really do enjoy my company and really do want to be my friend. Which means that I don't have to impress them, to make them want to have me around. I can stop squeezing into uncomfortable masks, masks that I think will be more acceptable or popular.
I can just be me. It's a far happier way to live.