In elementary school and junior high school, I was considered the funny girl. I was not one of the pretty girls, but the funny one. Fortunately with time my looks began to improve, however, my funniness went into hiding. I became increasingly serious, introspective, and brooding and carried those less than funny characteristics with me through to adulthood.
Often times, I become preoccupied with trying not to be offensive and strive to be ever so correct and polite. The other day I began to wonder where this concern about being offensive is coming from. Then it dawned on me that a part of me really does believe that I am offensive, stemming from the fact that I have actually offended many people in my life by trying to be funny. Frequently, I would make outrageous comments just to get a reaction out of people, and many times the reaction that I got was not favorable. When my humor “worked” it was a glorious experience of being appreciated, however, when it failed it put me at odds with people and made me appear as quite an odd duck.
Through all of my years of being a polite and good girl, I managed to sequester my offensive self and the memory of her. However, the whimsical and funny girl of my youth has never gone away. Unless you live with me, or are my best friend, chances are you have never experienced the real me and you may never. The real me is not polite and correct, she only wants you to think that she is. Message to self today: being polite and appropriate all the time is exhausting, inauthentic, and headache producing. So please try to stop doing it.