[Dedicated To My Wonderful Friend Rhi]
As humans we are flawed. Some of us have minor things we may consider flaws within ourselves – we may irritate others with our vexatiously loud chewing; speak out of line and go on a tangent a tad too often, or even bite our nails to the point that strangers may wonder what incurable disease our fingers may have contracted.
For many of us, we have a whole plethora of flaws, and a reasonably large amount of us may not even be aware of any of them; – I am not one of those people. I envy those who can go so blithely unaware of their faults, as the saying goes: ‘Ignorance is bliss’. But I am one of those people who is painfully aware of everything I may do wrong that it haunts me at any given moment. I can be seated in class staring at my charming little doodles when it suddenly occurs to me that I am incredibly awkwardly clumsy. I could be preparing dinner and out of the blue the thought that I fumble with my words all the time strikes me. I may even be sleeping soundly when I abruptly wake up in distress so I can contemplate my inability to sit still.
As much as I may sound afflicted by these minor flaws however, I can actually tolerate them. It’s my bigger, personality flaws that really seem to sink my soul.
Recently in a conversation with a close friend, she absently mindedly brought up some of my flaws, then when I expressed how self conscious I was, now that she had materialised them in conversation, she told me it was okay because she could ‘deal with them’. The problem was that I was already aware of them… but some how her saying it to me hurt me more than I could’ve anticipated, and somehow made them more real and pressing.
There are two major flaws that I am aware of; the first being that I am: Uptight (as fuck – as the kids say these days), and the second being: I rant a-hell-of-a-lot.
But here’s the thing, like most personality traits that may be considered flaws, there are reasons, situations and various things that have encoded these traits into our being. I struggle to know whether I am simply making excuses or if I am genuinely right in believing that there are roots to my flaws, so I’ll explain what I believe may have caused me to contract these troublesome flaws of mine, and plant the seed for you to decide.
Ranting too much: The reason I may rant an awful lot now is because, as a child whenever I’d cry or get myself into trouble, I was expected not to cry, even when I was being yelled at or even had a spanking. I’ve never really understand why parents do this – surely, as annoying as crying is, it’s a sign of remorse, no? As well as that, being the youngest meant that no one really cared all too much what I thought about any given situation or had the time to ask what was on my mind. Anyhow, this meant that growing up, anytime I was upset, perturbed or angry, I kept it to myself. No matter how big it may have been. When I finally came across friends who encouraged me to share my woes, my feelings were suddenly validated and thus the overflow of words – which may be considered ‘ranting’ – was set free. And ever since I’ve probably never been able to stop, it’s my way of coping and allowing myself to realise that the emotions a I feel are real, and are meant to be felt. Yet I know that ranting in itself is an unfavourable quality.
Being up tight: Despite many factors coming into this particular one, some of the main reasons I feel are fairly obviously. As a child of a large family, calamity and conflict was always around the corner. I had nieces and nephews who were three or more years younger, thus sometimes I felt it was my duty to protect them all from it. I remember at the age of 10 or so the police coming over to our house, despite being so young I knew it was wrong for the children to have to see and get involved in all of it, so instead I distracted them with games and sweets. It was an innocent act at the time, but as I look back, I wonder if it was right for me to have to do such a thing in a household full of adults? Moreover, growing up I quickly had to learn that there was no space for a child’s naivety in such a house, whenever arguments arose and I had tried to voice my childlike opinion or let my young emotional self overwhelm me, I was quickly blamed, punished and pushed aside. There was no time for me behave like a child in a house full of adults. I had to grow up. And I haven’t been able to go back to being a child ever since.
So those are the roots I believed to have cause my flaws, and I must say, my flaws themselves, through much effort, are slowly being pulled from the ground but it may be years before I can properly untangle myself from this over grown garden of weeds.
But what do you reckon? Am I making excuses? – Actually, in retrospect, maybe I don’t want to know… maybe, as all of us are flawed human beings, we shouldn’t have to explain ourselves to other people. And maybe… just maybe:
We shouldn’t find people who will ‘put up with’ and ‘deal with’ our flaws,
Perhaps, instead we should find someone who will appreciate us despite our flaws….
– Love Aery x