I’m a nice person – or so I’d like to believe. But I try not to show people that because I’ve been burned in the past when people took undue advantage of my niceness and naiveté. But here’s the thing, even if the things they’ve done are in the past, I still haven’t forgiven them.
In short – I’m a very petty person, I hold on to grudges for years and since I have an excellent memory of everyone who’s ever wronged me, I make sure to revisit what they’ve done to me (imagined or real) and feel some righteous (according to me) annoyance.
Lately, I’ve been ruminating and rethinking about a few people who I believed have wronged me. As it has been established that I’m not a very forgiving person, I’ve gone all out to either ignore or insult them to their faces. The only thing though – I fear it’s turning me into someone I do not agree with, someone I do not want to become.
A couple months ago, when I was hit by a particularly strong bout of self-righteousness I tweeted a few rude things to a particular entity on Twitter. My friend Salonie called me up immediately, concerned. I told her I wasn’t worried about the fallout, in fact if I got any then I would be happier. But she told me that that wasn’t the way she wanted others to perceive me. She believes in me (I think) and actually thinks I am a good person, capable of being nice.
Another friend of mine pointed out that I’ve become increasingly bitter recently. I don’t really want to be that kind of person – the one who reeks of negativity and is a damper on everyone and everything. More than that though, I don’t want to be someone I don’t recognize.
I’ve been keeping grudges and holding on to them since I’ve been in school, over things that don’t even matter to me, and probably didn’t then either. But I still remember how I felt and as I’ve grown older, I’ve simply harnessed this ability to keep grudges and have evolved to not giving two fucks as to how the person in front of me feels, how people who love me feel about this and I can see how toxic this is turning.
Back in school, I used to put a lot of pressure on myself when it came to academics, always feeling average and left out because my marks weren’t high enough for me to be a part of the toppers nor were they just low enough for me to be a part of the cool people who looked as though they didn’t care if they passed or failed. I remember feeling cheated because no matter what I did, I couldn’t find what I really wanted. But since I’ve entered college, I no longer bother about my academics. Marks, they come and go and I study enough keeping my goals in sight, and I’m happy about it.
Others’ marks and successes in academics don’t affect me anymore; in fact I’m happier when I’m on the side-lines when it comes to studies. So it is possible for me to move on from something that bothers me and be happy about it again. In another vein, I wonder why I can’t be salty about the things affecting me, why must I be the bigger person and not craftily (but not subtly) yell out insults to the people who actually have wronged me?
I know I’m petty. I know I’m holding grudges against people who may not be the ones to blame because I can’t hold them against those who are. I know I may insult them very unsubtly (if you’re the person I called a moron today and you’re reading this – even though I know you’re not – know I stand by my decision) but I feel like that’s the way for me to cope with the feeling of failure they have made me feel. A little taste of the sadness I felt so they can go through what I went through.
I may not be a nice person after all. But I’m not trying to be. I’m trying to be happy without killing anyone (and believe me there’s a long list). But not forgiving people or telling them I forgive them without meaning it may really be affecting me and I don’t want to give the people who wronged me another thing to take away from me.
If I keep obsessing over them, thinking and rethinking over what they did to me (way back in the past or just this afternoon) then aren’t they taking over a part of me for themselves forever? How can I stand to let them change me like that?
So this is an acknowledgement post. I may not be able to forgive you for what you’ve done yet, but I will try my hardest to forget you and whatever you did. Let’s all move on.
Until next time,