I am who I am. I can’t pretend to be anything or anyone else. My friends are the people who accept me and embrace me as is. They are the ones who deserve my attention. The people who think there is something odd about me or who find my quirkiness bothersome aren’t worth my time and energy. They are the ones missing out because I’m a pretty decent person. I’m far from perfect and have never once claimed to be without faults, but I am certain my good points far outweigh the bad.
For one, I’m kind. I make every attempt to treat people with respect and dignity, even some who don’t deserve it. I try never to say mean-spirited or hurtful things to or about people. That’s not to say I’ve never hurt anybody’s feelings; I just don’t do it purposefully. The older I get the more I realize that kindness is a rare commodity in this world. Many, many people are just plain mean. Others are just inconsiderate. Those of us who make a conscious effort to treat others kindly are few and far between, and often that kindness is mistaken for weakness, but I am far from weak.
I’ve been through some difficult trials the last three years, some very long, very bleak stretches of time where I thought my entire world was imploding. I have seen other people collapse from the same pressures, but I have managed to keep myself somewhat sane and mostly productive. In the last three years, I’ve gotten my second book into print and completed the rough draft of the third. I’ve traveled the Southeast to promote at various conventions and festivals. I’ve worked hard for the college and my students, and I’ve begun development of the farm. To accomplish these things, I had to dig deep inside myself and find strength I didn’t even know I had. If you misinterpret my kindness for weakness, you are sadly mistaken.
I’m also funny. Yes, my sense of humor is a bit odd, and I find humor in moments and events that others don’t, but I’ve learned about myself over the years that I can make most people laugh most of the time. This is a good skill to have, and it has served me well in every facet of my life.
I’m a 37 year old divorced man who is a little overweight, underpaid in his career, and not yet discovered as a novelist. I may never find that success, either. I have a temper, can be a slob, and am way way way too sensitive. I’m goofy, awkward, sometimes inept, and often out of step. I have plenty more faults I could divulge, but I’ll save those for another day. Despite my many blemishes, I’m still a pretty good person, and the people who see me and accept me for who I am are the only ones whose opinions I give a damn about.