“I am not my personality”

My personality has always been loud and outgoing. From the first few words I say, people will either like me, or hate me. I can be obnoxious, I can be selfish, more so than the usual amount for any given average person. My mouth has gotten me into trouble more than a few times, for sarcastic (and sometimes hurtful) jokes, for saying unfiltered things that I probably should not have said. I want to get a laugh from my audience, so I poke (to me, harmless) fun at others. I can see it when people react, either in shock or hurt and I feel a pang of regret that is there one second and gone the next.

I’ve often been told that I need to filter my mouth, to listen to the old adage of “think before you speak.” Most of the times, what I say (no matter how outrageous), gets a laugh, and I know I’m safe. But I always test these limits, see how far I can makes jokes until it turns insensitive or cruel. Thoughtless, I suppose. I’d like to believe I’m a decent person; I generally don’t do these things on purpose. But I do know that several people I hold in high esteem have looked at me differently, based on what I’ve said; they have lost a little respect for me. And that’s not something anybody likes.

I have made many mistakes, some big and some small, and almost all of them can be traced back to being selfish and inconsiderate. I’ve lost my parents’ trust more times than I’d like to think about, “inconvenienced” them in a large way, hurt people I care about in more ways than one. My words and actions alike have reduced many to tears and anger, and rightly so. I have lost friends and acquaintances by being inconsiderate. Being reduced to something less than last place by someone else is not very pleasant.

My insecurity is small, compared to many of the others I’ve seen. Compared to my peers who have gone through that and much more, all I face is the daily angst of struggling with small flaws. What all this has taught me is that if I don’t want to be, I don’t have to be. I don’t have to be my personality, I don’t have to be inconsiderate. All that requires is that I change What I Be, for the better.