It’s a bloody old saying, ‘just be yourself’, isn’t it? I feel like someone should jazz the phrase up a bit now, just to keep things interesting, but despite it going back years and years, people still don’t listen to it.
Don’t get me wrong, I can understand it – there have been times where I’ve felt hesitant to tell someone something about myself, not knowing how they’ll react or whether it will change their opinion of me. I can’t imagine a worse feeling than having to hide who you truly are and it breaks my heart that so many people have to do it, and continue to do it, every day.
For me, now, it’s a different story. For anyone who’s reading this who may not know, I have Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. Recently, my friends and I were talking about people getting territorial about where they sit in a lecture and I said ‘yeah, but if I have to sit somewhere else, it throws me off – it’s one of my autistic things’ to which SOME CHEEKY PERSON REPLIED ‘you can’t use your autism as an excuse for everything’. Wow, rude. Another time, I was talking about taking something super literally and said ‘it was rather autistic of me’ to which someone CHIPPED IN ‘you can’t just refer to autism as flippantly as that’ – not actually realising I have a diagnosis.
With Asperger’s comes GREAT HONESTY – I just can’t lie, and neither do I feel the need to. I will openly tell people about my diagnosis – and why shouldn’t I? It’s part of who I am. I’ve had people tell me that I shouldn’t ‘spread it around’ as if it’s some sort of dark secret, but that’s down to their ignorance. It’s as much a part of me as having blue eyes and hating avocado (sorry, Ols), and I make no attempts to hide either of those things.
Talking about this post to people I know turned out to be very interesting. I spoke to them about if it’s been easier to be honest about things they would normally keep secret, or things that society has made them feel like they should keep secret. I won’t lie and say it was all positive, but it definitely wasn’t all negative either. One of my friend’s came out as gay (he is one of the biggest legends I know) and as much as he didn’t have the best time with his family, he told me that it was liberating to just be himself and not worry if he was giving things away. Another friend, who suffers with depression (one of the sassiest people I know), said as much as there are some idiots who don’t make any attempts to understand, when she’s having a bad day she can just be honest and the people who do understand will just say ‘okay, cool, what can I do?’
So, just own it, ‘be yourself’ – as they say! You’re the only you there is in this world – it would be a shame to deprive the rest of us of your bloody loveliness. In the fantastic words of Richard Ashcroft, ‘I feel no disgrace with who I am’.
Stacks of love,
P.S. Did you see my last post about rocking red lipstick?