On the train today on the way home from Salt Lake songs kept coming up on my ipod that reminded me of experiences I have had in my life that have left me hurt or embarrassed. I kept thinking about people who I liked more than they liked me, people who ended up hating me for whatever reason, and people who I always ended making a fool of myself around. One thing I hate more than anything is when I don't have a good rapport with somebody, when they simply don't like me, or when I let them down or they find me annoying. I try to be pleasant, I try to get along with most people, and I try to do good things for others and be thoughtful and mindful of them and their feelings. And so when someone doesn't like me or when I make a mistake and people are mad at me, it kills me. Nothing feels worse.
I watched a movie tonight (that lacked a plot but had a pretty intense moment towards the end) called Happy-go-lucky about this girl who is always optimistic, who is always kind to people, who can't help but laugh all the time at stupid little things. She is a woman who is happy with her life, who has good friends and who teaches and helps little kids. She decides to take driving lessons, and she is just herself, but the driving instructor is a little nuts and her eccentric and constantly happy behavior unhinges him. He ends up being really violent with her and tells her that all she wants is to be the center of attention and just to play with people's feelings. But this is not true at all. There are a couple of scenes after this one where we see her sitting, obviously thinking about what had just happened, and you wonder if maybe he is right, if she is not actually such a genuinely good and happy person. But it comes to the point where she and the audience realizes that he is wrong, that she is who she is and he read is wrong. She wasn't trying to lead him on, she was just being herself. She was just being kind to him because she's kind to everyone. She shouldn't change who she is because one person didn't like her.
And so it should be with me. There have been people who have hated me. There was one girl that offered for me to go visit her in Portland, and I took her up on it because I always wanted to go. But, we had only worked together and weren't good friends and while I thought we got along, it turned out that we didn't at all. And I was there for 5 days, and it just got worse and worse. I know I could have made it better, I know I was immature. There was one moment when I asked her where her dad was (because her mom was remarried) and I said it in not the kindest tone. She said he was dead. And then there was awkward silence and then we didn't talk much for the rest of the trip. The plan was for us to drive back to Utah from Portland and her mom decided to come along instead of just the two of us. Neither of them talked to me the entire trip, I got out of the car and they said goodbye and I have never ever seen or talked to that girl since. And it bothers me because I know she didn't like me, and I did try to be pleasant. I don't think it is fair. She was in such a bad mood the whole time and it felt like I could never do or say anything right. That was 3 years ago and it still bothers me.
But it shouldn't. I wasn't a horrible person to her; I'm not a horrible person in general. Some people won't like me, but there are plenty of people who like me a lot. I can't please everyone, and something I've learned in the last few years is that I do have the power to change and to be better but there is something essential about who I am, about my personality, that won't change and that doesn't need to change to please anybody. And people will like me or they won't and someone may someday love me, but I really need to stop worrying about it either way.
I'm all right, you're all right, can't we all just get along?