On Being a Private Person

September 12, 2016 ~ 10:41pm

I've always told myself that I'm a "private person". For years, I've used that as an excuse for being evasive when I don't want to talk about certain things or just to avoid giving away details about my life. But the truth is I'm not even sure I know what being a private person really means. While it's true I don't like to expose too much about myself, there have been people with whom occasionally I have admitted to things (though never everything). And even so, it's always been very calculated. Reflecting on it, most of my comments made in public have been purposeful almost staged at times.

But why? Because I'm a self-absorbed fraud? A little, maybe ... I'm being safe? Possibly, I guess ... I'm fearful? Yeah, that makes the most sense. I sincerely thought for the longest time that revealing too much would make me vulnerable. That people would judge me, gossip about me or somehow I wouldn't fit it in somewhere.

But really who the hell cares? Probably no one. I'm not that important. And there most definitely are some people out there who will judge me or do some unkind thing to me behind my back - but that's life. And more so, I'm now seeing the irony of being shackled by the opinions of some small subset of people who I am allowing to have so much control over me.

Even realizing that, there are some other aspects to my foolish mindset. As much as I would like recognition and appreciation for things in my life, I often doubt people's sincerity when they say nice things to me. I don't even know why. Maybe because I personally never felt proud of myself so at times it just feels easier to be skeptical of everyone else's motives. And then this pessimism feeds into itself. I don't want others to question my intentions, so I don't give praise or encouragement all the times when I do genuinely want to. And then people who I care about, think that I don't care or I'm insensitive or worse: that I'm refusing to join in their happiness. And now writing that all out, well, it just reads like a total farce.

No really, I'm just a coward, just hiding my emotions because I'm scared I'll get judged or hurt. I've been hurt before and will again. I've been disappointed by people and been judged. But those are all poor reasons to always have to hide the things in my life and constantly build pointless defenses.

I don't know what purpose this "confession" of sorts really serves, other than to help me re-evaluate my "old ways" and to try to become a better person. Life is just too short to wish you could have told someone that you're happy for them, or to miss out when someone else really just wanted to share in your happiness.