I don’t want someone to love me
If they think I’m innocent.
I don’t want someone to love me
If they think it’s cute.
I am a person.
I am not a challenge.
I wrote this poem several months ago after being told exactly, “you’re so innocent, it’s cute.” I was told this often growing up, from the boys in school who had unknown motives and the girls who looked down on me. I hated that it was true.
When I was in high school, I rejected my “innocence.” I liked the look of surprise that people got when I told them I was the kind of girl who went to parties, drank with her friends, had hooked up with boys. Of course, most of it was exaggerated; telling stories just so I would be accepted.
It worked. I got the attention of boys. I got attention from people who had never known I existed for the entire year I sat with them in classes. I became more outgoing; I was no longer the shy girl. I was no longer the loner, or the girl some people thought was mute because I talked so little. I was known.
And none of it mattered. I didn’t find happiness. I was depressed all the time, constantly irritated by how difficult trying to be someone else was. It was fun at times, but I knew I wasn’t being genuine and that wore me down quickly.
I lost everything I worked for when I decided to be “innocent” again, and it took a long time to get over the fact that the only close friends I’d had up to that point hated me. So I left it all behind: my friends, my school, my boyfriend, everything. None of it mattered to me because it wasn’t real anymore.
I still have that feeling every once in a while, where I feel like I have to prove myself, even several years later. “I’m not as innocent as I seem, see?” I don’t have to do that, though. It’s been a slow coming, but I’m finally finding places I fit in and people who are just as “innocent” as I am. And it is so much more rewarding.
It isn’t innocence. It’s having a moral compass. It’s having boundary lines. It’s having a comfort zone. It’s listening to myself. Most of the world encourages having an abundance of friends, drinking, going to parties every night, having fun at all costs. I didn’t find satisfaction in that; I always wanted more. Where I am now, I can be content. I can have the kind of fun I actually like, with people I can actually connect with. I am becoming more outgoing again, in my own way that I couldn’t do before because now it’s real. I can enjoy making meaningful connections with a few wonderful people, rather than having sub-par relationships with as many people I meet. I can hopefully find a guy who will respect me, and I him, instead of seeing me as some sort of challenge. And I’m excited for all that I have and all that still lies ahead.
So, no I don’t want to be seen as innocent, because the people who see me that way often want to take it away. I was encouraged to do things I wasn’t comfortable with like cursing, drinking, smoking, etc. because it was unexpected of me. Therefore, it was amusing to those egging me on. That’s the lesson I learned in all of this, and want to share. Don’t change just to be accepted by others, because those people will never truly care for you and you’ll always be unfulfilled. Don’t do anything solely because it’s the popular decision.
Let me know what you think!