BEING YOURSELF CAN SOMETIMES BE COSTLY.

Let’s start with something extremely basic and absolute; we are all different. You will never find a copy of yourself anywhere, physically and especially not psychologically. Identical twins, the quintessential example of homogeneity, because their DNA is identical to the last strand, end up being different people psychologically because no one can go through the exact same thing and even if they do, they won’t interpret things the same way.

Therefore, we are all different. We all have our own way of thinking, of being and even if we have the same values such as honesty, love, loyalty, we don’t live them the same way. The same goes for our flaws; when people are evil or misguided, they don’t live things the same way, with the same intensity or the same energy. We are all different. If we were to add other factors, such as eras, environment, age, gender, social status, religion, academic background and so many other things, we are all so freakishly different.

Most people try to conceal their difference because society has this awful way of treating anyone it deems different. They conceal their difference because they don’t wanna be ostracised, humiliated, targeted, hurt, or discriminated against. Sometimes, for their safety, people would rather fall in line and gain a sense of community instead of being isolated. It isn’t cowardice to want to live free of persecution, prosecution or stigmatization. It’s common sense. We are social beings; we need human contact, protection and we need to be part of a group. It’s imprinted in our DNA. That’s why we are loyal to our families, friends, countrymen and women, or people we share the same culture, traditions, religion, etc.

Being yourself can sometimes be costly. I can talk about my own experience as a writer and outspoken author. I share my opinions and I am doing so in an era where a simple word, let alone a sentence, can get you in deep trouble. Moreover, I don’t do myself any favors, since I talk about anything I deem worthy and certain subjects society considers taboo. I know my writing style, voice and opinions can at times be polarizing or disruptive to some people’s ears and sensibilities. And it has cost me.

Let’s be honest, let’s be real and let’s not be dramatic; it hasn’t cost me my life, my health, my sanity, my job or my relationships. Well, the relationships that ended because of my opinions, weren’t meant to last, I believe. I won’t lie, being myself, meaning being at times abrasive, brash, unapologetically outspoken about anything and everything, my generous use of the word “fuck” and all its variations, and especially being a relatively “free-thinker”, has cost me my peace at times. I guess that’s the price to pay when one becomes a writer who publishes their work on a free blog, for everybody to see. With eyes, comes criticism, opinions of my opinions and opinions of who I am. 

I guess the hard part is to accept being misunderstood and criticized, which are not easy things to accept at first. Talking about love is easy, pretty straightforward and universal. However, when I talk about religion for example, this overwhelmingly taboo subject, then something entirely different happens. Then again, faith and belief in God are extremely important to people and questioning their very reason for existence isn’t something people take lightly. Yet, the way I see it, no subject is taboo or above criticism and not everybody agrees so it always brings some friction. I could stop talking about it and gain peace. That’s an option, an easy one. However, I would be falling in line with society’s demands, and I would be betraying myself since freedom of speech is of paramount importance in my eyes. Some say they get offended by my opinions; that is their absolute right and I welcome their disagreement and criticism. They have just as much right as I do to express their opinions or displeasure. Yet, I am not here to protect their sensibilities nor am I here to cater to them or to insult them. Basically, to each their own because at the end of the day, if I were to criticize another subject such as sex or racism or homophobia, I know some people would lose their minds and I would get criticized. Catch 22: damn if you do, damn if you don’t. So, we move!

One thing I have discovered through my years of writing and sharing opinions, is that one better have or develop thick skin! Shit! You better develop a system of compartmentalizing things otherwise you will not fucking last. Whenever you share your opinions on any subject, it seems that there is condemnation for thinking differently or for asking questions. Yes, sometimes I get my feelings hurt but the pain lasts 30 minutes tops, because I have developed that thick skin. It frankly hurts because I thought my message was clear, but I guess some people interpret it their own way which is only normal. Perception is a powerful tool and extremely specific, as unique as a person’s DNA. 

In the end, I’d rather share my work and externalize everything instead of following lines drawn by society, which most, I admit, don’t make any fucking sense. The fun part is that I get to learn from people’s opinions and get a better understanding of others and ultimately of myself. There is a price to authenticity, but it isn’t a steep price. I write texts, I share opinions, that’s it. I ain’t making policy or building thinking movements nor am I a guru or an influencer, so who cares?

Surely, being different is costly sometimes. But what do I really have to complain about? I am a fucking writer, sitting in a democratic country where nobody, literally nobody gives a fuck that I am a writer. I am not harassed, arrested, bothered, taxed or otherwise annoyed. 

I hate comparisons with a passion, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that some of my fellow human beings, my brothers and sisters in different parts of the world, go through real prosecution, persecution, violence and discrimination for simply being who they are, for simply being themselves. Can you imagine paying that type of price for being who you are? I cannot and I won’t even pretend. I get my feelings hurt once every 6 months, big fucking deal! Others are going through hell, literally! And some people have the audacity to get offended by other people’s opinions…What a world we live in!

Just one man’s opinion…

Now smile and go on with your day!

Freeman. B


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