“You’re just grumpy.”
I’ve always been described as grumpy but depression hasn’t made this any less apparent. If anything, it’s gotten worse. I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not exactly happy-go-lucky. If I were to count, there are way, way more things that I hate than I like.
I don’t like things most people tend to like. I hate parties, concerts and clubs. When people are letting their hair down and playing games for example, I have zero problem ruining the mood. It’s not like I’m rude about it but if I don’t want to do something, no amount of social pressure will persuade me to do otherwise.
“Oh go on, you might enjoy it!” a person trying to get me to try climbing, cold water swimming or a bungee jump says.
No I won’t.
It’s difficult to examine yourself this way, to me that’s the only way to be. Other people have told me plenty of times that I’m grumpy so I’ll believe them. I’m most definitely not a people person. Some people seem to have a spring in their step, sun on their face and little birds chirping around them wherever they go.
As pleasant as these people are, they exhaust me in the first ten minutes. In my case, the birds have been replaced by a pack of vultures. I don’t consider grumpiness a negative trait. I believe in balance, and it would be boring if everyone were the same. That’s why I always ignore suggestions to get me ‘out of my shell.’ There is no shell. It’s just how I am.
That’s partially why I became a journalist, I think. I’ve always been a bit of an observer in life. I prefer watching from the sidelines rather than being at the centre of attention. I also have to take everything I see and hear with a pinch of salt. My personality provides that naturally.
It’s funny in a way because I share a lot of my private thoughts, experiences and emotions with a group of total strangers right now but I’ve always found writing different. It comes from a place of solitude where I’ve had time to formulate my thoughts. Talking to others face to face takes away a part of my sense of security.
It seems to be less acceptable for a woman to be grumpy. Mr Darcy has everyone’s knickers dropping hundreds of years later but had he been a woman, I bet she would’ve been branded a miserable bitch and died a spinster.
It’s also that teen fiction idea of a manic pixie girl who needs to be saved from herself. Guys tend to think that I’m grumpy because I haven’t met the right man or that I’m so deeply unhappy, and their mere presence is going to fix me. They belittle what I consider to be a natural characteristic and don’t take me seriously.
I don’t know what’s up with it, do they think that I’m just playing or exaggerating because I have such a bad self esteem. Fuck knows. In any case, I try to be honest, saying that I don’t like many things but they never believe at first.
‘Oh come on, I’m sure you’re not that bad!’
Once they realise that I actually am, the contact ceases quickly. In reality, there’s nothing to fix. I’m naturally attracted to grumpy people. Befriending them is more of an effort but it always feels like you’ve been given something precious. I also feel privileged. This person doesn’t like many things but they like me.
I wonder why so many people are keen to change me. Why can’t I just be as I am?
Because the world isn’t for the grumpy. Society encourages you to be personable, pleasant at least on the surface and to participate. Socialise. Network. Meet with people they don’t know and talk about things like the weather and the property ladder.
I really should be better at it because how else am I going to find readers for this blog for example, but that just isn’t me. I don’t mind a nice conversation but there tends to be so much meaningless and empty pleasantry in it. I’ve gotten worse since I got ill. I almost died. I feel that given a second chance in life I just don’t have time for useless conversation. I just can’t do it.
Grumpy people tend to get patronised, as if I was a stroppy teenager with an attitude problem. I just think too much time is spent in useless chitchat talking about things that don’t really matter, so I tend to avoid it.
Other people consider my grumpiness more of a problem than I do. Just look at hedgehogs. They curl into a spiky ball when they’re uncomfortable with something but look at their gorgeous little pink feet. It’s all about balance.