Just Let Me Be Myself

Recently, someone told me they have no idea how to act around me. They said I’m out of their grasp. They said they didn’t know how to live in my world. Another told me that I should tone back what they perceive as aggression. Yet another told me to think silently. I’ve been told that I don’t play. I’ve been told that there’s nothing quite so cutting as my honesty. I’ve hurt people with my words though not intentionally. I am first and foremost a writer and perhaps there have been none so hard to love as those of us who wield a pen. We are by trade, burdened with the task to always be objective, to always be honest, and to never bow to a lie no matter how soothing. We cut deep. We expose. We wound. But for me, these words aren’t rooted in malice but a need to be completely free and unbound by any chain. We bear our souls so that you may find yours.

I’ve been called funny and fierce. I’ve been told that I will cut a person down only to build them up again. I don’t get much in the way of reviews, but readers message and email often, their stories and pain freed by my writings, thanking me for what I do and what I say. I’ve been told that my writing is powerful and gripping. I’m honored that you’ve chosen to share your stories with me and hope that you’ve found some measure of healing, of joy or of entertainment in my work.

Not long ago, I was involved in a situation that seemed somewhat sketchy and posed some risk to my personal safety. I can’t say for certain that I was in danger, though the situation was deeply disturbing and left me shaking. This past week, my safety is once again a question of concern for friends and family and those closest to me have warned that my work may be to blame. I’ve been urged to consider the effect my writings have on those around me. And I have. It’s never been my intention to cause anyone pain. Change for a better world has always been my inspiration. I took time recently to consider dialing back my activism. I considered writing romance. I thought, perhaps I have been careless.

I spoke with my grandma yesterday. She said it may be best to tone things down a bit. My grandma’s Irish of the Adair clan. Neither my grandma or the Irish are known for remaining silent so that others may be placated by the sweet and soothing lie that comes with denying who you truly are for the sake of peace. I respectively call bullshit, aye?

I cannot keep silent about certain issues. I have written in the past, fluffy pieces, cute stories, and yes, some romance, but have not felt that this work had any value. I’ve lived most of my life, muting myself, adapting to the needs of those closest to me so that they may be comfortable, but I have evolved and so has my writing. I am no longer content to placate others. My voice and tone do not lend themselves to works that don’t force the reader to examine their beliefs or to works that don’t demand the reader to look at the darkest parts of life and the human psyche. Feel good works are not my thing and you don’t read my work to be soothed. Deep down, you love the cheeky bitch that I am. I’m told it’s my most endearing quality.

I’ll keep moving forward with my activism, though I will take a break for now so that those close to me can catch their breath, given certain recent events. I realize this post is a deeply personal departure from what I normally write and not for all of my readers. If I’ve offended you or upset you then understand that that is ultimately no reflection of who I am nor does it have anything to do with me. Your offense is nothing more than a translation of your own fear, denial or the defense of your personal belief system you feel I’ve attacked. Whichever the case, the offense you feel is a scope that must be pointed inward to you, the reader, as I’ve merely touched on something you’ve suppressed.

To the person who feels out of my grasp, I exist in the words and therein you’ll find me. I’m bound only to my thoughts, beliefs, and principles and will only ever answer to them. May they always find me loyal. Would that everyone had the freedom that only an artist can know.

 

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Just Let Me Be Myself”

  1. Kimberly,

    Let me provide the perspective of an old guy, with the caveat that we all need to do what is good for us to do for ourselves. People who would say to you that they don’t know how to act around you, or that perceive that you are too aggressive, are really projecting on to you their own particular predilections. If they are close friends, perhaps they are not as close as you may believe. If they are acquaintances then perhaps they are perceiving you passive-aggressively? Because it sure sounds passive-aggressive to me I don’t know you personally, but I know you from your writings and from them you strike me as someone who should be a pleasure for anyone to know. I think you need to try to understand what their motives are for saying these things to you and if those motives benign?

    You’ve shown yourself in your writing to be a very perceptive person. Yet you have a fragility borne of your personal travails. Because of this sensitivity, perhaps these people caught you at an off-guard period and you didn’t view their critiques with your usual insight. Think back on these incidences and bring your perceptions to bear on what these people’s motives might be?

    I’ve been personally quite honest in my dealings with others and I never suffer fools gladly, Nevertheless I try to celebrate those I `meet by trying to be positive about their good qualities, rather than lecturing them on what they might lack. If I find someone hard to deal with, I don’t try to change them, or their opinion of me, I merely don’t see them anymore, without rancor.

    At the risk of seeming flippant, which I am not, let me provide you with words of wisdom on the subject from others:

    Bob Dylan on dealing with friends and loved ones

    I been meek
    And hard like an oak
    I seen pretty people disappear like smoke
    Friends will arrive, friends will disappear
    If you want me
    Honey baby, I’ll be here.

    Ricky Nelson on dealing with fans.

    Well it’s all right now,
    I’ve learned my lesson well,
    You can’t please everyone,
    so you have to please yourself

    Finally Fritz Perls on dealing with people in general:

    I do my thing and you do your thing.
    I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
    And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
    You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.
    If not, it can’t be helped.

    (Fritz Perls, 1969)

    These may seem simplistic, but I’ve gotten though 71 years of life, living by this type of philosophy, with many obstacles in my way and yet I’ve enjoyed the trip. You’ve got a terrific mind, huge talent and much empathy and I’m sure you’ll work this out to do what’s best for you.

    Don’t let the bastards get you down!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think most people are well-meaning in their comments but the majority of the comments made by these people are coming from a lack of understanding on certain subjects. Some just don’t want to be bothered with having to face certain truths and I don’t waste time on this type of thinking. There are others who have been genuinely hurt by things I’ve written and I feel badly for them. It’s not my intention to bring pain to those close to me. There are others who don’t know where they fit in my world. I’m not entirely sure how to interpret that or how to fix the situation. Others have been concerned for my safety after a couple of unsettling events spanning the last month or so, and again, I’m not at all certain those events had anything to do with my writing (in fact, I’m convinced that’s not the case at all). Their concern and worry is not something I take lightly, whether warranted or not, but it’s not something I can undo at this point.

      I appreciate your wisdom. I always do. A friend sent me the following comment after reading this post and I thought it was perfect: Reading your “Let Me Be Me” post made me think of one of my favorite Warsan Shire quotes, “You tried to change, didn’t you? Closed your mouth more, tried to be softer, prettier, less volatile, less awake…You can’t make homes out of human beings. Someone should have already told you that.” It comes from her poem, For Women Who Are Difficult to Love. It seemed appropriate somehow.

      I don’t think I could ever think of you as flippant, lol. I hope I look as good as you at 71. Thank you for your words.

      Like

  2. Keep up the great work! Take the rest you need as your safety and self care are important. Your spirit of truth inspires me.
    Much thanks for your work,
    Willow

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kimberly,

    I think Mike summed up exactly how I would respond, and, thankfully, in many more words than I would ordinarily put to paper.

    If your safety is threatened, whether real or imagined, then the first thing would be to avoid a repeat of such an action. However, this doesn’t mean you should bow down and keep quiet for the sake of pleasing or appeasing someone else.

    We are all here for a relatively short space of time, it will seem a lot shorter if we’re not allowed to be ourselves.

    Mike put it much more eloquently I know.

    Take care,
    Chris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Mike’s got a way with words and he always says what needs to be said. One incident was particularly disturbing and I have stopped that sort of activity. It’s just not in my nature to keep my mouth shut. That will never happen. Thanks, Chris.

      Liked by 1 person

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