Sometimes I like to be left alone.
Most times, I'm an extrovert. I get energy from being around other people. Big groups of people, crowds or even meals with just one other person. When I'm watching TV and live Tweeting it feels better than when I'm watching TV alone. It feels like I have 150 of my closest (and wittiest) friends in the room with me and that energizes me.
But some days, I really like to be left to my own devices and here's why. I don't think anyone who criticizes my opinion genuinely cares about me. Let me explain.
I've been in Pittsburgh for a year. I don't like it. If you read my blog, that should be crystal clear. Now when people ask me how I feel about it, I'm a bit more honest than I was when I first moved here and was feeling it out. I've determined that medium-sized city life is not for me. It does not suit my personally. I am on assignment here and when I finish that assignment I have every intention of leaving.
People... people I know. People I do not know. People I work with, go to church with, meet on the street or volunteer with say things like "you're not giving Pittsburgh a fair chance." "you go to Chicago too much." "You might change your mind." blah, blah, blah.
And so it occurred to me that these people, when they asked me if I liked Pittsburgh, they didn't really care how "I" really felt. They didn't really expect the honesty that would flow from me. They wanted to hear that it suits me well. It's perfect for me. I could see myself living here. It's amazing. People want good news.
Just like when people ask how you're doing. All they want to hear is fine, great, blessed, couldn't be better, amazing and splendid.
I dread Monday mornings when people ask "How was your weekend?" because sometimes my weekend was not good. A lot of times I work on weekends. A lot of times I feel inadequate on weekends because I didn't get to everything on my weekend to-do list. Sometimes weekends are just 48 hours off of work. I dealt with a racist incident one weekend and the only thing worse with dealing with it was having to tell people that it happened and it sucked. People want to think, well, maybe you're overreacting. Well, maybe it wasn't like that. People want to find a silver lining when sometimes things just suck.
And when I am honest, people are so ridiculous about it. And uncomfortable. And their discomfort makes me uncomfortable.
Everything's not ok all the time. Everything's not positive all the time. Sometimes there is no bright side. Why can't people just let me be there and stop trying to make me an optimist or worse yet, a liar.
So sometimes, when I go home to visit, I wish people wouldn't ask me how I like Pittsburgh and when I get to work on a Monday I wish people wouldn't ask how my weekend was. I just want to be left alone because no one is truly listening to what I say and why. They just want me to be happy and positive and all the time and when I'm not they want to fix me.
Today, I don't want to be fixed. I want to be left alone.