It was 2016 when I first heard someone telling me that Im a marshmallow. It was my colleague who later on became one of the dearest closest friends to my heart.
Before you continue, you will need a cup of coffee, a cigarette, and lots of contemplating energy, you are about to enter, my VR.
So 2016, up until that time, I was mostly viewed as mean, rude, quick to react,tough so lets say an angry bird. Of the many words I hear from close people and descriptions from family members. Only person who never said that was my father, and my brother who was ofcourse viewing me as a little drama queen. Normal for big brothers in this side of the world.
I don’t know if people generally feel that, but maybe some do feel it more than others, it is very tiring to be me.
Yes, I argue a lot, No, I cannot nod and say yes. Complimenting in a society which is living on sugarcoating and admiring one another ( will get to that in later posts) was never my strength because I either complimented when I really admired , or shut up when I don’t find anything extra or interesting. So, people who were seeking extra validation, were bit unlucky seeking it with me. You can notice my facial expressions numb down, the eyes go in normal position, mouth gets a bit heavy from the sides, and the words don’t come out and if they do, they were better left unsaid because I was horrible faking it.
It was tough to let me out of trouble even if it’s not concerning me, and the inner defense attorney has been in me as long as I can remember myself existing. There were scenes from kindergarten where I remember some friend being bullied or discriminated and I would fight others for them not to feel as bad.
I used to hate seeing students being punished by teachers and I remember the instructor holding one young boys ear for misbehaving. If you are wondering, yes our schooling psychological wellbeing and discipline methods were not as developed. Physical abuse was ok, because generally older generation used this as way of disciplinary action towards any disrespect or misbehavior or even sometimes for just being a child. Luckily to say, we never had this kind of treatment at home, and when once it happened at school, the mama bear woke inside of my mother and I remember how she went to argue with the teacher who did this.
Nontheless, I really can easily get out of topic ( also something from childhood), so, I would be very upset seeing those scenes at school, and for me eventhough I knew some students were misbehaving, however I never approved of this way of socially shaming someone as way of teaching manners.
I was the one always respecting teachers, but also being very rebellious and defying in matters of principals and ethic. I would not suck up to the teacher in elementary school, I would not agree to go with the flow, eventhough it proved to give good result, but never for me was it a thing to be able to do, for the mere fact that if im good , I will earn my grades, if not then I rather not be graded high for something im anyways not good at.
Fighting with the bus driver, for the sake of others, getting a new bus driver and leading everyone into going with him, manipulating the crowd for their own good, and cutting the other guy out of the game because of simple misbehvaior and abuse of our need of him.
Growing up a little bit to mediate to parents and bring closer points of views of my best friends’ to their parents.
Fighting off discrimination against being child with a mother who was non-durzi ( druze is a small levantine religion, very closed and secretive,not inclusive, and does not accept any marriage from a non durzi, around 5% of Lebanese population only) so, to know more about it you need to just watch youtube because to be honest, we don’t even know much of it as its not so open, with this tiny community , you will find many beautiful well preserved values, ethics and manners, all except for being inclusive. And for my mom’s identity, one way or the other, I and many mixed marriage kids, were discriminated on many levels. And the discussions would even end up in being indirectly insulted by “Phylisophy” instructor because of being a “non-pure”. Yes, we are a breed!
Growing up in continuous defense mode, I was not able to just say yes and deal with it. My mom on the other hand, is an admirable person, she landed in a foreign land, with very closed community , yet managed to understand them,integrate, overcome their discrimination and adopt their lifestyle. I, to be honest , could have never done it this way, and would probably end up fighting everyday with someone for some silly word or action.
I was always there in the front, holding all my artillery and ready for the battle, because if not me, then who? Because looking and seeing those surrendering faces around me, those diplomatic ways of survival, and the silent moments of simply disagreeing yet chosing not to argue, for me were acts of being passive and not existing. Ancient wisdom says, it takes strength to be able to be silent. Yes it does, but if all the great people in our history, decided to take this approach and be silent, we would never be in the world we live in now.
Those people who chose to fight off for their belief, for their views, for their visions and discoveries, were marked as crazy in their times, but they actually made a change.
What if Martin Luther King was dismissive, and he just decided to admit to the reality and just live with it and let it go? Just be silent and go with flow?
So many what ifs, and for me, I could bare myself living with many questions, with regrets over mistakes, but could never live with a what if? What if I did something that could have helped someone, changed a situation, did something. I rather regret doing than not doing.
The thrill of going into war for me, is my drive in life , and the believe that even if I get injured, it would save something, or initiate change if not now, on the long run, I feel achieved with all my battle scars.
And that’s where I can say, I am always out there to speak up when nobody wants. When nobody feels that it will make a difference to speak up, when everyone doubts the consequences of speaking up , my complete blind faith says if I do it for the right reasons, I will always win.
This always gave me strength and power.
At work, Im generally opposition, questioning hierarchy when needed, and fighting for change even if it means I won’t get my promotion or I might even risk my job. Yes indeed, if I were not me, things would have been easier. But I once said this, and will share it again, I come with a headache. Even in the family, I am not easiest to deal with.
As I gew up bit more I was referred as emotional and sensitive. Sometimes its even used as an excuse against any re-actions I make at work as a result of dealing with lots of bullshit and bullshitters. The thing which not many people are able to see, is that, I don’t work for myself, in this world I dont believe in I, as I believe human survival was built on collective effort, so was their evolution, and on this conviction, I function by default, to serve community where I am. So it’s not easy for me to keep calm, where majority of people function for their own success. Those generally view me as naive, simple or too good and stupid.
Im not saying one is right one is wrong, Im saying its my version of right and wrong, its my own reality, and the way I was made to be.
I usually end up standing up for someone and then see them walk in the line of their own “enemy” to end up being the one outcasted. In the beginning it wasn’t easy to accept, especially during teenage, but as I grew, this became normal, became a learning lesson for me, to do my work, and watch when people find out their own outcomes, and then realize my truthful intention all along.
Please, before I continue, I am not saying Im an angel , nor that I don’t mess up big time, just my reality is, rarely do I have bad intentions for people, because generally yes, I am naive. I don’t want to doubt every person around , that would be admitting to the nature of humans that its messed up, and that would frustrate me, I would prefer to live in my wonderland, where everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Yes, it means lots of disappointments, lots of unmet high expectations, lots of on off relationships, sudden cutouts from my life, and many many people in and out of it. Creates an image of an unstable person, and a lost one who doesn’t know a thing about people.
You know the worst part, I spot the bullshit in people, and Im able to name it and identify how it will affect the relationship from very few encounters, it’s just , I believe in people, and the effect you make when you are good to them. And I keep dealing on that basis, until something else manifests which makes me just eventually give up. I learn, experiment, and gain new knowledge from every encounter I have. And with that my instincts on people grow stronger. And still, to the closest of people I choose always to say oh I met this person and they are amazing. If I want to be careful all the time, treat people for who they are or what they do, many disappointments would come, and relations would be floating on surface. If i want to keep my shields up with ny expectations, how would I find happiness?
I keep hearing “you have high expectations of people”, I used to be defensive, used to deny this, and now I just say, so what’s wrong with having high expectations? How do you raise the bar and caliber, quality and impact, if you keep settling expectations. How would people learn to keep being better if we just keep letting go, if we just don’t allow high expectations. Honestly, I will keep having the same as I feel makes me happy, if i expect ultimate loyalty, honesty, support, respect, etc… does not mean I dont tolerate or understand, does not mean I judge, does not mean I am perfect, it just means lets both grow as people together higher with our standards and behavior. Lets learn and apply and keep trying.
And with all this being said, there is so much more to say, just for now I’m the marshmallow. The sentimental one, who gets affected by every single tiny thing, who captures unseen body vibes, comments, argues, displays disappointment
So many times I am just expressing the reality I live in, and its perceived as such. Everytime someone would tell me Im sensitive, it would burn some fire inside of me, as if im being underestimated, and my feelings are not real, and my thoughts are just vague, as if the whole substance im made of is not real, and the daily struggle to fight, is not there, as if this warrior feeling inside that has been driving me, has never existed, when all I know about myself , is this identity.
Yes I am sensitive when things require me to be , when I capture things that either should not happen, or would be better off not done, or have better alternatives. Yes, I become sensitive to that, and I express, and I do not accept and I should not accept because the reason humanity got to this point of being so careless about others is this, accepting and hiding sesitivity and just learning to deal with it.
I cry a lot, mostly when Im angry, and then when Im totally broken for being unfairly treated. Unfair to me counts even intentions, it seems so unfair to me, when I purely engage my heart, to find shortcomings from people.
And for a person like me , it is difficult to be me. It is much more difficult to be inside of myself rather than you seeing it from outside and having the option to run away and not deal with it. You can have a break from me , but I cannot.
Excuse my expectations, excuse my comments, excuses my honesty, excuse my tears in times of silliness, excuse my attention to details,excuse the way I blame, excuse the naive intentions, excuse my enthusiasm, excuse expressing anger and disappointment, excuse how seriously I take things and how seriously I take people in life, I live my life with my heart on my sleeve, and to many, this means easy pray. The one thing I say in my own defense, trust when I say, I will accept and forgive and learn and apologize and I won’t give up easily.
There is a polarity to who I am, and to what my character is, and for one thing, it’s so mich easier for me to sit back accept relax , smile and nod in approval. It is easier to maintain harmony, to keep cool. But, I was not made for this apparently, and for some innate natire I have since childhood, it would be unfair to not put into use what I can fully make use of. Even on the expense of so much tears, so much outcasting, so much judgement and disapproving eyes one me.
It was the first time I was called marshmallow, and since then, I understood who I truly am. A roasted marshmallow, burnt on the endges, soft on the inside, good for cold winter nights.
And the view of me being mean, tough or brutal, just placed itself in the right space, yes I can be that when necessary, I can do it when required, and when summoned and in the same time, I can be the one crying for one normal word being said with bad intention.
I felt like sharing a bit about me, and only me today, I know there is someone out there feeling tired of their own nature, just like me, and also some others tired of dealing with people like me…
Can’t explain much as Im figuring out my calling in life, just I understand one thing, if you have a set of skills, and you dont out them into use, you are wasting resources, and at the moment my set of skill is not knowing how to shut up, and I will try to use it for the benefit of it as much as I can.
To be continued in many many stories…
Leaving you with a picture from Lebanese BbQ remains, an accurate representation of what it feels to be me…