I think I’m something of a firebrand. I guess it’s one of these waves in my personality – when I was younger, I was a huge people-pleaser, always seeking approval and attention and affirmation of who I was and what I was doing. I still thrive – probably too much – on those things, but of late I’ve become more willing to do things regardless of whether others like what I choose. I’m more willing to speak out, slowly becoming more willing to look foolish and take risks; I think this is a good part of becoming more comfortable with who I am, but it’s a little like a pendulum. I feel like I’m swinging between extremes of self-loathing and complete arrogance, though I’ve never resided fully at either end. (Except, well, I do have a strong tendency to self-loathing.)
At any rate, I’m becoming very direct these days – not quite in-your-face confrontational, but defintely not mincing words. I’ve always been sensitive to the way tones and word choice create certain effects, but now I’m more willing to let those effects or impressions be negative, if that’s what I want. I think it makes people uncomfortable sometimes; I come out very strong, I’m very expressive and opinionated and passionate. I require others to meet me with equal strength, and I have less and less patience with people who are not able to do so. I’m a little more hard and exacting, whereas I used to be more forgiving and willing to make excuses for people. It’s not that I’ve stopped being aware of the reasons or excuses behind people’s behavior, I’m just not always willing to put up with it.
I suppose I’ll find that happy medium as time goes on; I probably need to learn to moderate my presentation of ideas a bit more and be more accessible to people who aren’t used to such a forceful approach. I guess I’m just not ready to pull back from this extreme yet. I like being willing to more fully express aspects of my personality such as my passions and emotions that have been repressed in the past because I thought people wouldn’t like me for them. I feel like I’m coming into myself, and I’m enjoying this phase of my emotional maturation.