One of the reasons I’m so intensely insecure and self-conscious is because everyone keeps talking about “be yourself” – but the moment you open up, you’re only accepted when “being yourself” is a certain type of self. It’s really romantic that we push a magical version of vulnerable and unique, but the actual opening up part is dang hard and uncomfortable and requires a kind of love that most people won’t muster, since they’ve never really had to. It ain’t like Hollywood, ever. If you find the sort of friend who truly loves you, I mean the weird obnoxious squeaky sweaty you, however imperfectly, keep them close and forgive them for when they do not understand. Friendship will take more than once and more than the pretty picture in our heads.
There are no scripts or models for open relationships, so people in them must invent their partnerships by living them…
On the surface, it may seem the people in nonmonogamous relationships give up the comfort and security of monogamy. After all, on a regular basis they must confront one of our deepest fears—that a partner is going to leave. But they value their freedom and the freedom of their partners, and with that freedom comes, for some, a greater sense of security. It sounds like a contradiction, but one of the most profound things I have learned from people in nonmonogamous relationships is how confident and content they feel about the strength of their partnerships. One woman said she knows her partners are in a relationship because they want to be, not out of any obligation. Another told me that because her relationships aren’t built on false ideas about exclusivity forever, she feels more cherished by her partners; she said, “There is an investment in what we have rather than what we should have.” But all this freedom doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all. Nonmonogamous folks are constantly engaged in their relationships: they negotiate and establish boundaries, respect them, test them, and, yes, even violate them. But the limits are not assumed or set by society; they are consciously chosen.
She was never perfect. She has never been. And you will never understand how much she wanted to be like them - pretty without even trying, witty without even trying, fascinating and interesting without even trying.
She doesn’t have any lifetime friends. She envies those who have found the circle they belong to; she envies those who have found the people who are sure to stand by throughout their lives. She smiled at people, knowing that they’re friends only because they belong in the same classes, and she knows in the future, she’ll be smiling at people, knowing that they’ll be friends only because they are in the same workplace. Yet everyday, she looks for her circle - people whose line of thought is parallel to hers, people who could call her their own kind. She gets so lonely that she searches for them in the most unlikely places - the person beside her in the jeepney, the person beside her in bookstore aisles, the person eating at the next table.
She’s not smart, I repeat, she’s not smart. She just studies, that’s all. She doesn’t want to hand over fucked up grades to her parents. But that’s just it. At the end, she memorized, but she’s not sure if she really did learn. She’s good at tests, but she’s not really good at anything else.
She’s not pretty. Of course people don’t tell her to her face, but she knows. That’s why she tries her best to present herself accordingly. She smiles and tells everybody, she’s okay with how she looks, but when she’s alone she curses herself for her shape, her height, her skin. And what’s worse, girls around her, who are clearly prettier than her, will complain how ugly they are.
She’s always the subject of jokes. Everyday she wonders why. Perhaps it was because she doesn’t talk back, or maybe she was stupid enough not to defend herself, or maybe she was too kind not to fight back. Either way, there’s only one answer - to pretend she’s okay with it.
It would be so much better if someone, just someone who could understand her. To this day, no one really knows her. All they know is the skin-deep personality she parades around. No one has ever peeled off the mask she’s been wearing for eighteen years.
And the sad thing is, there’s only one thing she can do about it, and that’s to pretend she’s okay with it.
Insecurity is largely driven by a need for acceptance or approval. When someone is insecure, they believe that, for some reason, they don’t deserve this. Inside: a bunch of bullet points and some questions for developing an insecure character. -Headless