Six Things I Rarely Admit Out Loud

03 Dec

This post is a little more personal than my usual fare, but hey, it’s the holidays. A new year is about to start. I’m thankful for everything that’s changed in the past year or so, but there’s still a lot I’m holding onto. Maybe I should be honest about these things. Some are silly, some are serious, but they’re all true things about myself that I rarely admit for fear of being judged.

1.) I’m terrified of political discussions thanks to my family

My family is painfully conservative. Well, maybe that’s not completely true. It’s more like they fall on a scale of Libertarian to Tea Party. Still, one of my first memories is of my parents telling me that Bill Clinton was a bad man after I was talking about seeing a picture of the then president eating lunch with school kids and thinking that was cool. Not because I was interested in his politics. I was 5. I just thought it was cool he was eating lunch with kids.

Of course, I became my dad’s worst nightmare when my politics turned liberal feminist.

You think this would have encouraged me to stand up to my family and try to share my views, but nope. Every mention of liberalism was matched with scoffs and disdain with my family. I already feel like the outsider in my family for so many reasons that I’m about to touch on. Being liberal was something best kept to myself. And when I don’t, it just gets me chewed out, like the time I yelled at Sean Hannity on the radio for bitching about Common performing at the White House and my grandmother chewed me out for five minutes about how Common was actually a violent man.

This is probably why I hate internet arguments or talking politics with my friends on Facebook. I’ve permanently abstained from posting political things after day long arguments have been put on my feed because I shared the opinion that Lorde’s ‘Royals’ is kind of racist. I back out because of my own demented sense of self-preservation from a family that treats liberalism as the end of the world.

They seem to be okay with the fact I’m queer, but I could be kidding myself.

2.) I’ve had a lifelong fear that everyone secretly hates me and just doesn’t want to tell me

And I mean everyone. Family, friends, coworkers…

I don’t know exactly when this started. Maybe it’s just one of those human things or just being constantly teased in school, I feel like everyone just puts up a smile when I’m around and just laughs at me when I’m gone. I even feel this way about my own parents. That somehow, I’m just a disappointment to them. Because I’m not stereotypically pretty or that I went into communications instead of something more “prestigious.” That I like weird music or strange TV shows instead of being normal. That I turned out liberal instead of following blindly to make them happy.

I need constant assurance that people want to be around me, but then there are some days where it doesn’t feel like enough. That maybe I should just disappear and that no one will miss me.

There are days I know it’s not true and that I’m just paranoid, but if I get a glean that someone might actually not like me, it sends me into a tailspin because maybe I am as useless and terrible as everyone clearly thinks I am.

Maybe that’s just a side-effect of my anxiety.

3.) I’m really bad at saying what I want or how I’m really feeling

I grew up an only child. A spoiled one at that. I’m grateful for the fact I didn’t need to worry about much as a kid, but I wonder if my family constantly telling me how spoiled I was made me afraid to tell people what I want. Because saying ‘I want…’ is selfish, and I’m not allowed to be selfish. I have food, clothes, and a family that takes care of me. But it makes me afraid to say things like ‘I want you to give me just an hour of your time because I miss you,’ ‘I’m scared,’ or ‘I just don’t want to do this.’

Maybe it’s also my commitment and loyalty that bites me in the ass here. If I volunteer to bake hundreds of cupcakes, I need to commit. Don’t get mad if people don’t show up to help or think that all your work isn’t good enough for them. Don’t whine when you’re tired. If you bail, you fail. You fail, it gives you a reason for people to hate you.

I even fear saying this because I’m sure people will just see it as fishing for compliments or whining instead of being honest, but I want to be honest. I’m tired of being scared.

4.) My love of Butch Walker was slightly founded on a basis of spite

I still grouse about my middle and high school bully, who I will call ‘Sour Patch’ for the sake of this blog. I should let it go, but there’s a part of me that is driven by wanting to prove her wrong about everything she ever said about me.

And I’ll admit, part of that was Butch Walker.

Not every bit, of course. I still discovered he was from Cartersville after looking him up on Wikipedia one night the summer before my junior year of high school started and felt hopeful. A month later, a girl who later became one of my very best friends sent me his entire solo discography, but I was still very casual about.

And then there was Sour Patch.

I was sitting at lunch one day listening to songs from Left of Self-Centered when Sour Patch came sliding over to annoy me. Because we had separate classes for the first time since middle school and she missed doing that. She then looked at my iPod, gasped, and declared I wasn’t cool enough to listen to Butch Walker.

Right then, something flipped. I wasn’t cool enough, she said? Well then. I’m just going to have to listen to ALL the Butch Walker then because I sure as hell wasn’t going to live for her satisfaction.

Heh. I guess I have to thank her. Nearly seven and a half years later, my life has been made so much better because I REALLY started listening to an artist just to piss her off. So long and thanks for all the Butch.

5.) Butch and DragonCon are what tipped the scales for me to go to Georgia State.

I was severely depressed in my junior year of high school. Between IB making me feel like I was a complete dumbass and having no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I just hated getting out of bed and going to school in the morning.

But I still had to pick a school to go to, and I had no idea what I wanted. Except that I didn’t want to go to UGA because fuck going to college with everyone I hated in high school.

Sometime after the first time I saw Butch though, I decided screw it and to look into going into a music management program. The problem is that there were only two schools in Georgia that offered a Music Management major: Berry College and Georgia State University.

Berry College isn’t a bad school. In fact, it’s a lovely private school in Rome, Georgia, even if it is completely funded by the Cathy family to the point a LGBT organization couldn’t properly form on campus until just recently. However, it is in Rome. It was further out in the boonies than I already was and the once fact I remembered about Berry from when I was there at the camp on campus for a folk art program was that the deer outnumber the students 3 to 1.

Georgia State however was in the middle of Atlanta. Which meant city. Which meant no deer and that I was right around the corner from where the DragonCon hotels were. And I could keep going to Butch Walker shows.

I didn’t need to know anything else about GSU. That’s all I needed.

Probably a bad idea, but I think it worked out pretty well in the end.

6.) I used to write slash fanfiction.

Well, still do sometimes. It’s what really got me into fandom was participating in fanfiction and it helped me come to terms with my sexuality. Maybe not too shameful, but I needed to make this list an even six. What my main fandom squeeze was? Hey, some things need to stay secret.

Huh… you know what. I think I feel better now…


Posted by on December 3, 2013 in Personal


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4 responses to “Six Things I Rarely Admit Out Loud

  1. Lara Eckener

    December 3, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I know this isn’t going to change what’s happening inside your head, because it doesn’t ever change what’s happening inside mine, but I don’t think I could hate you if I tried. I’m incredibly familiar with that feeling, though. ❤

    Also, I know exactly where you are with your family. This year my father waited for me to be alone in the kitchen before pouncing on me and arguing for thirty minutes while I desperately tried to explain that he wasn't going to change my views, I wasn't going to stop thinking we should help those with less than us, and I'm certainly not going to "grow up" and be a conservative like him. I'm not who he wants me to be in any way and I'm not going to be and I really need to let myself stop feeling guilty about it. I need to figure out how to stop letting it fester. I don't want to hate him. I don't want to hate politics. It's getting harder, though.

    TL;DR I FEEL YOU, BRO. *fistbump*

    • Ashley Leckwold

      December 3, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks, KL. *fistbump* I hope things will work out for you family in some way.

  2. befferkins

    December 3, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    #2 is me, too, and I’m glad I’m not the only one. I think for some people this paranoia is ingrained in them at a certain age and it’s terribly hard to shake past the age when you should grow out of it.

    Don’t worry about #6. There are programs to help you with that. XD

    • Ashley Leckwold

      December 3, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      Yeah, which is crappy as hell.

      I’m not too worried about #6 unless an employer finds some of the fanfic I wrote.


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