People used to describe me as ‘nice, kind, gentle’.

Maybe less-so with the gentle word.

Though those words used to really bother me. To me, those words were just filler words for someone who they didn’t know very well, or there was just nothing else to say. And it’s kind of true. Really though, what does being ‘nice’ or ‘kind’ actually mean? You’ll do something if someone asks you to? That’s not really nice – that’s called being a slave. At what point is it no longer ‘nice’ and become sad? If it’s not something large, is it really ‘nice’? Most people would lend you a pencil, are they all nice?

Hell, Rene would lend you a pencil if you asked, does that make him nice?

But when you ask someone for something important, say giving them your answers to the take-home exam (what a joke). Is that ‘nice’? Is that person being ‘nice’ to you by giving you the answers? I see it more as they are doing they should almost never do, but are doing it instead. It’s not nice, it’s depressing. They should say no to that, as it is something that could actually impact their life (cheating) and your life (also cheating).

It is slightly similar to the comparison of ‘doing what you are told’.

If someone tells you to close the door if you’re the last one out – is that considered being ‘obedient’ and a ‘good’ kid?

If someone tells you to clean the room up and you oblige – is that considered being ‘obedient’ and a ‘good’ kid?

If someone tells you to break another person’s toy – is that considered being ‘obedient’ and a ‘good’ kid?

Just because someone tells you to do it, doesn’t make you ‘obedient’, ‘good’, or whatever other associated trait because you obeyed there command.

You think people tell the Nazi soldiers ‘Hey man, you did a great job out there killing an uncountable number of Jews’ ? They obeyed Hitler’s commands, does that make them good? Obedient?

I think I might be getting slightly sidetracked.

Though that was my thought process. Being labeled as ‘good’, ‘nice’, and ‘kind’ were not complements. They were not descriptions of my character. In fact, I would say they did the opposite of describing character – they removed character.

For that (and a lot of other reasons), I tried to be a different kind of person. Maybe not someone different, maybe I was just being more open with my feelings. Maybe I was just faking it, I don’t know. But that’s what I did. I tried to show different characteristics, so that real words could describe me (even though describing someone well with a few adjectives/adverbs is hard).

Sometime ago, I think I achieved that. I don’t remember being mainly described as ‘kind’, ‘nice’, ‘good’, or other generic, meaningless words (unique and different are other ones). I didn’t think much of it at the time. Once I stopped hearing those words, my whole disdain for them disappeared. I quite conveniently forgot my hate for those words. I should be a bit happy to be someone different, I guess. I used to wish, dream, and imagine living as someone different then who I once was. Someone with a different personality. More flair in who they were, and how they acted. Someone that you could remember based off their actions and interactions, be it positive or negative. I had really built a dislike for being plain, normal, and generic.

At some point I forgot that disdain.

Instead, I began to have a desire to be a ‘nice’, ‘kind’, ‘good’ person. Somehow, my previous wish/dream of being able to standout from others became something I never wanted to happen. While I’m not exactly too sure why, I assume it has something to do with attention. Attention, expectations, and growth. Attention isn’t that great of a thing for me – I think. A little bit once and a while is okay, tolerable, manageable, acceptable. But anything more than that and it becomes a chore. It becomes tiresome, a mental drain. Then expectations. Having specific labels allowed others to assume/predict my behaviour and actions. After having general success with those predictions, people would begin to have expectations of me.

‘Oh he’ll say this here.’ ‘Ah, he’ll probably choose this one.’ ‘I’m not going to ask since he probably doesn’t like it.’

Not uncommon thoughts. Assuming things about people make it easier to make decisions involving them. It’s hard to have expectations/predicts if you assume nothing constant about a person’s behaviour. I make the assumption that William will generally pick the neutral/anything-is-ok option when I ask him a preference question.

Do you want to eat Mexican food or Korean?

Ehh… Anything is okay.

I make assumptions about people’s likes and dislikes too. I assume that they’re constant, or else I would never know what I could talk to them about. For example, I can almost always safely assume I can talk to Cindy about games. Alexander about school. Stephanie about her day. Jack about ultimate. It’s a good way of  selecting what are things I can discuss/share with them. But at the same time, betraying the expectation creates a disturbance. Whether that is a good or bad thing is another question.

I would be surprised if Rene came asking me to play League, even though he hates the game. It’s out of my expectations, and my next thought would be ‘Why’. Is he lonely? Is there something wrong with Dota2/CS:GO right now? Is he drunk? Is he joking around?

If a friend that I’ve always considered as happy, outgoing, and charismatic, one day tells me how they want to commit suicide, how they dislike life, how they’ve been starting to take drugs and the like, my expectations are shattered. Why? What? When? Who? You? How? It’s an awful surprise. I wouldn’t sure what to do. This goes both ways too, if they’re telling me this, they’re expecting a certain reaction from me. Whether they expect me to try to comfort them, be surprised, immediately block them from my life – who knows? And that’s scary.

It also kind of limits growth. I’ve been pigeon-holed into this role and duty because of my characteristics, how do I improve? How do I further change? How do I progress further to what I want to become? It’s hard. You might want to spend more time trying to learn how to play music, dance, or even act! But you’ve been labeled as someone extremely interested in computers, science, and math. Your desires are extremely different from your image. To try and satisfy your desires means to break your current image – whether that is a good thing or not. Maybe things change, people are surprised with your desires. ‘You’ve changed,’ becomes a key phrase you start to hear as your old friends become acquaintances. Maybe things go positively. People are surprised with your desires, but they enjoy your newfound self and you become better friends/make new ones. Who knows. You sure won’t.

But I digress.

After becoming more different, I wanted to become less different.

Why? I’m not sure. I’ve listed three reasons above, but they’re all negligible if I was to actually try it out.

Attention doesn’t have to be negative.

Expectations can change.

Growth always happens.

Then why?

I don’t know.

Am I just tired of myself?

Do I want to change myself again?

For what?

For who?

For me? Someone else?

Maybe.

Part of me things I’m trying to conform to someone’s ideals. I want to be liked by them more. I want more of their attention. I want to talk to them more.

Did I want this before? Probably.

Is this purposeful change? Likely.

Are they going to notice? Doubtful.

What am I doing this for? Haven’t I done this time and time again? As it ever succeeded? Have I ever experienced the lovely taste of success? Am I willing to risk the heartbreak of defeat?

Is it good? Is it bad?

Should I be trying to portray myself as their missing specific puzzle piece? Would it be better for me to just wait and see what piece I become instead? Am I even a puzzle piece? Maybe I’m a brick on a wall. Maybe I’m a colour on a painting. I don’t know who I am right now, nor who I will be, so what should I do?

I don’t know.

And maybe that’s the best part.

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