Hand up if you’ve ever put on your “best behaviour”… to impress somebody, or just because you didn’t want to disappoint. I think we’ve all done that at least once in our lives, and probably more than once. Some people do it rather often… so often that others will label them as fake, hypocrites, ass suckers… but who are we to call people names?
Putting on our best behaviour grants us acceptance from society, it allows us to fit-in, it makes us normal people… but deep down inside, often, we know that we do not fit the norm. It’s either too loose or too tight for us.
I have this friend who often calls me a rebel. Funny enough, he’s more decadent than I am. I guess he calls me a rebel because I really don’t fit in anywhere. I’m not saying I’m special, I’m just saying that, since I was a kid, I never managed to find a place, or at least, society never offered me one.
I can’t quite remember my pre-primary school years so I won’t tell you about those. But in primary school, at least most of it, I was a fat black kid who came from a country that nobody knew about. I was quite soft for a boy; I didn’t quite like getting into fights and I didn’t play any ‘conventional’ sports i.e. football and basketball. However I spoke French, in an English speaking country; this played quite well with the girls.
Then when we returned to Burundi (by we, I mean the family), I was the fat kid who spoke English. That, until recently, was considered very snob by Bujumbura’s society… that and other things that characterised my rather *cough* unsociable *cough* behaviour… which kind of lasted through my entire teenage life. So it’s easy to understand that I wasn’t very popular. I’m not blaming anybody, not even myself… though I may have had some serious self-esteem problems, when I look back I feel like all those issues were necessary evils.
I may have had hard times but I also had friends. Many came and went, but some stayed… the good ones. The ones who knew the real me. I don’t mean the ‘good’ me; I actually mean the messed up one. I’m talking about those friends who saw the bad and stayed anyway. I’m also talking about the new friends that I’ve made in the past few years, who’ve also had the ‘privilege’ of dealing with a not-so-nice me; but have stayed anyway. In fact, this whole blog post is inspired by my relationship with one of these new friends who has called me judgmental, patronising, amongst other things, but has stayed anyway. Hey, YOU! You know yourself. Yes, you! I love you.
I once read somewhere that every man, no matter how cruel he is, has at least one woman who loves him for real. It may be a mother, a sister or a lover. I want to say, every man (or woman, for that matter), no matter how messed up they are, has at least one real friend who sees beyond the ruins and loves them for real.
Today, I want to appreciate my real friends. They are not many, but they are more valuable than anything. Every once in a while, I think about you and I smile. Well, I think about some of you more often than others, but hey, the most important thing is, you are in my heart. And I want to thank you for taking in all the crap (excuse my ‘French’) and giving me second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. chances. I’m sorry if at times it may have been too much, and please be warned that there may still be more to come. What? I’m only human. It’s not like I can help it. And please remember that I’ve had to deal with your nonsense as well; so don’t feel yourself too much please! :p
Guys, I love you. It may not be obvious at times, but it’s in here somewhere. I promise.
Now, calm down and get back to whatever you were doing. That’s enough emotions for today! Okay, bye!