I always feel like I do not fit where I am. It’s like a very loud noise at the back of my mind “You don’t belong!”
Physically, I was always- and still, out of place. My skin colour was never the majority of wherever I’ve been. It always seems to be the “wrong” one. Not white enough, not dark enough, not pale enough, not yellow enough, etc.
My attire and my general look have been described as not according to what my sex would traditionally wore. Hence, my sexuality has also been brought to question by some during the course of my life and became a topic of mockery for some poorly raised kids back in my school days.
My demeanour also does not conform with the unspoken social regulations on where I used to live. I was raised by parents who was conventional enough in my early years to belittle younger human being as “you know nothing” or “kids should let the adults do the talking” and my thoughts and opinion being dismissed accordingly. Lucky enough at some point of life, a foreigner that was our neighbour broke through my parents and took me seriously. 20 years older than me, he would stop whatever he was doing and listen to what I was saying, probing more questions, challenging me to elaborate further in a language that I was not familiar with in my formative years. He proceed with addressing what I said, responding accordingly and continues to discuss further despite my lack of eloquence then. For a good 3 years, I was taken seriously as a human being with thoughts, ideas and opinion that should be judged by its merit, not by the size of my body or the time that I have walked the earth. My parents digress and, to a certain extent, let me be who I am in the family.
While this helped a lot in my confidence when communicating, it does not proof to be a benefit in me conforming socially. My way of saying what I think, expressing my opinion, challenging misconception or misperception by older generations have been a constant problem even to this day. My way of communicating has been deemed “lack of respect” and deserves a slap or two to teach me a lesson that I was in the wrong. And I was told I deserve no apologies for the physical hurt I suffered from the stinging words that I uttered.
Now that I am my own person, living outside home, making my own living, I know better to adjust accordingly. When it comes to work and money making responsibility, I know that I have to conform to the rules and regulations and certain social arrangements accordingly and I do that consciously and willingly since I have bills to pay and a lifestyle to finance.
But my personal relationship is a different matter altogether. I am no longer required nor willing to endure my time outside working hours. Few years ago I made a decision to cut off relationships that I qualify as hard work and to tell you the truth, my quality of life skyrocketed in a nick of time. I no longer commit my time regularly to people that I do not enjoy being with. I choose to spend my time alone or making effort to nurture other relationships that I enjoy being part of.
People that I do not have to restrain myself from.
People that knows who I am actually and get along with, instead of expecting me to be someone else.
People that I would go leaps and bounds for to ensure that the relationship is good.
But even with that being said and done, I realised that the ghost of my past still haunts me. Those boxes that I thought I have left behind, still dictates my general conduct unconsciously these days.
Do I approach first? Do I buy him a drink? Do I let him buy me a drink? Is it okay to express how I feel? Is it too much if I initiate contact? Who pays first? Who asked for second date?
What if my way of doing things disgust him?
Oh fuck it. Let’s just get it over and done with.