when you start to say ‘no’

It is difficult.

For far, far too long I have nodded, smiled, replied with a positive hum or obeyed blandly. The list goes on.

I am trapped by my obligement, by my demure and people-pleasing manner. I am fully aware it is ingrained into my nature, to avoid confrontation and to follow the simplest path that would include the least amount of stammering justification, muttered tangents of explanation from a small, unsure voice. I decided this option was superior to any other in the way that I was made ‘easy’ for people, that they would talk kindly of my agreeable and similar personality, that I would laugh at their meaningless humour and that’s why they kept me around or even spoke to me at all.

A bland, giggling creature with no particular opinions other than whatever the person they accompanied at that moment believed.

My life is guided by the stories of others, expelled from the books I read, the films I view, the voices I hear. I soak up their characters and their individual voices, views and opinions. I stare dumbly as they stand up for what they believe in.

They argue and debate and protest and disagree. They say no.

Their personalities burn brightly and they become all the more noticeable, it colours peoples’ perspective upon them and makes them immensely interesting. They converse with strangers and share their views and do not exist to please others. They are entirely their own person. It can make one somewhat bitter when a fictional character has a significantly more complex personality than they (a living person) does.

They don’t laugh to fill the silences that seep in between conversations. They do not smile when they do not have to, they do when they genuinely want to encourage someone or when they are happy.

I smile far too much to stay what I thought to be polite, but I found it to be dumbed down obedience. A 2-D personality plastered on cardboard designed only to keep the other person happy. No controversy, no disagreements, no colour. There is no spark behind my agreeable words.

Last Tuesday I disagreed with my music teacher.

My heart thumped and skipped and went cold as she blanched and turned away, before I smiled at myself in the mirror adjacent. Only because I wanted to.

Eilidh.

 

 

 

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