Character: the mental or moral qualities distinctive to an individual
Over the past week, or anytime something major happens, and I do not respond or react the way others do, I begin to question myself. Like– Am I not normal? Is there something wrong with me? Why am I not visibly outraged like everyone else? I care. I feel. I am angry. I am disgusted and disappointed and frustrated. I am all of these things. Yet, people may never know it because I do not show it. Why? Hmm… It finally dawned on me that I am not that person. That is not who I am. So why force myself to respond like others if it does not come naturally. Y’all, it is not my character.
I can think of so many incidents throughout my life where people have told me how they would have reacted differently to the same situations. For example– just because I feel like writing– when I was in my early twenties, I had gotten off work early and stopped by my boyfriends place to surprise him. Little did I know, I was the one in for a surprise. I found him in bed with another girl. I stood beside the bed and causally asked them a few questions, like- “What are y’all doing?” “Why didn’t you lock the door?” You know, questions anyone would ask. After receiving my answers, I sat down and waited for her to leave. Y’all, I remember this big brass lamp being on the nightstand. For a second, I considered bashing his head in. Yep… I could visualize the entire scene. However, I chose to remain calm. Even our conversation afterwards was calm. He kept saying things like, “I know you want to hit me,” and “Just let me have it!” If “Boy, bye” was a phrase back then, I would have definitely used it. Every time I tell someone this story, they tell me that they would have responded differently. Most say they would have fought him and the girl. But why?? Was I hurt? YES!! I thought I was in love with him. But, the consequences that would have resulted from that moment of gratification, would have been costly.
Now, have I ever acted out of character before? HA!! Of course! When I was ACTING! Whenever I have to give people what they expect, it is called acting. And y’all, I hate acting. Whenever I have to cuss to get my point across, that.. my friend.. is acting. You see, whenever I am hurt or angry, I become very quiet. I do not say much. I just act. Y’all, this is my character.
I decided to write this because it is something that has been weighing on me for a while, even before George Floyd’s murder. As I said, after something major happens, whether national or personal, my response is always a little different from others. Hence, the reason I always refer to myself as being unique or quirky. The way I react or respond may not be what is typically expected. Y’all, I was going through a crazy divorce for over four years and I rarely said a word about it or spoke badly about my ex. There were so many things I could have said or done, but chose not to. Shoot.. I can barely cuss when writing, because again, it is just not in me.
Today, I am so grateful for those who choose to accept me for who I am. Those who understand and respect my true (not the act) character, as I do theirs. From this day forward, I will no longer question myself based on how others think I should react or respond. Y’all, people will have you angry with yourself only to come around and agree with you later. Honestly, in the end, the only opinion that matters is God’s.
Enjoy your day!