God gave me the gifts of uncommon levels of self-awareness and discernment. I truly belive that the two go hand and hand. Being very sure and comfortable with who I am has made me observant and as a result I see people for who they are.
Whoever first said that the eyes are the window into one’s soul was indubitably accurate. I make strong eye contact with people. However, I tend to not do so for very long because I don’t like to see all of what I generally see in people. I’ll play it off with a brief look away, as if I am just being aware of the surroundings and no one will notice it.
Why? Because I’m cynical. My life experiences have shown me that people almost only look out for themselves and what is in their best interest. People don’t really care unless it’s effecting them. I have almost always been this way. The last four years haven’t helped this cause at all. For example, Timile’s parents. They wanted Cydney. Not at all were they thinking about the fact that many people-including Cydney’s father who had taken care of her the whole time-weren’t grieving a loss. They tried to manipulate the system to get what they wanted with their claim being that when Timile died this is what she really wanted. I looked at them differently when they spent time with Cydney after court. I saw them as people who were just like me who were devastated by a loss. They reacted selfishly, but it humanized them a little bit to me.
I live a life in which I have very little expectations. I will often assume the worst so that I am pleasantly surprised when the desired outcome I am looking for actually happens. If something needs to be done, or I am emotionally hurting I will solve the problem or self-soothe as much as humanly possible until I am at the point where I feel the need to reach out. People have their own lives and their own problems.
Often the people in my innermost circle will want to just try to give me advice on how to solve my problems. It’s been insinuated and told to me basically that my story is too sad or that it’s too depressing to deal with when they have their own issues. I’ve been told I need to seek a support group and let others comfort me so that we can be there for each other since we’d all have lost people. They’re not really paying attention. I’m not grieving. I haven’t been for years. Being a parent is overwhelming and I need the time to breathe, blow off steam, and just not pretend that I’m happy all of the time because life isn’t always rosy. In fact, life is mostly hard and overwhelming. Things like this make me not want to share and I shut down.
When I know that my friends are in similar places I try my best to be there. I have one friend who has said on a few occasions they’re about to become cynical or some variance of that. I moved heaven and earth to make their days a little better with because I know what it feels like and I don’t want them to start seeing life or people the way I do. At the time I needed that reciprocated for a moment months later I was told essentially they couldn’t be there at the time because I always seemed unhappy. Well, yeah. That will do it.
I haven’t lost all faith in humanity, though. At heart I am optimistic and truly believe that things will work out. Most days I am a happy person. I just don’t like to show it. Recently I reconnected with and made a couple of new friends and it has really helped. For once I have been able to really get things off of my chest and speak with no filter. I haven’t had to be fearful on the days that I need to vent that it’s too much. It has very much been appreciated.
If course there’s Cydney. While she may be several handfuls she often means well and gives me reasons to smile. She’s definitely softened me up. The world can be really harsh and my biggest motivation to fight cynicism is because I don’t want her to view the world this way.