For as long as I can remember, I have only wanted to do the right thing. Out of all things I had managed to find a remotely correct answer to, the right thing had eluded me.
You can’t please everyone, they’d tell me, no matter how hard you try. They thought they were doing me a kindness. Perhaps, saving me from some loss they thought hadn’t already occurred. I had been living for everyone else my whole life. Nothing they said was new to me.
I had already paid the price, whatever it may have been. Parts were missing, clearly, but since I had never taken proper inventory of who I was, I could never know what I had given away in my relentless pursuit to be liked.
They would never know. They had never been lonely. You couldn’t tell someone who had seen true, abyss-like loneliness upfront what they could or couldn’t do. They had never seen it, and it had never scarred them. The feeling of being around others but never belonging. I had stared it right in the eyes.
The voices inside never stopped either. How does one fight loneliness? The voices had an answer readily available.
Tell a joke; a terrible one. They’ll laugh louder. Laugh louder than them. Wish everyone birthday, even if you don’t meet them for decades. Can’t remember? Make a note. Always be there. Never say no. Always be helpful. Never say no. Be useful. Always learn. Know more. Be better every day. Make sure you never give up. Always be the last one to let go. Does holding on hurt? Keep holding on regardless. Have quirks. Lots of them. They like antics.
Be noble. Stay humble. Never lie. Be brighter. Not a smidge of darkness. Feeling downtrodden? Keep it to yourself. They won’t like you if you’re always bummed out. Be stronger. They will need you. They won’t reach out if you’re broken. Keep them close, but at an arm’s length. Stay in control, of yourself, of everything else. Never lose it. Be responsible. Consistency in all things.
I have always wanted to do the right thing. For a long time, I did as the voices said. I had no choice. You wouldn’t know. I have one now. The right thing doesn’t elude me anymore.
My grand plan? I am ready to disappoint people. Perhaps, for the first time.