I wish you’d come off anon. 🙂
I’m glad you find some value in my ramblings. I doubt my location would have influenced me much at all. Growing up in South Africa during apartheid has given me some unique experiences and insights, but I can’t say that it actually shaped my perspectives much. As per my previous post, being the kind of kid that I was, I believe I would have been ostracised in any society regardless of community or place. The odd ones are always soft targets for the shallow ones. This is true throughout the world if some of the blogs I follow is anything to go by.
So I guess I am me independent of location, because even when I relocated to other cities or countries for work, I didn’t find any notable change in my personality or perspective. It simply reaffirmed the universality of the inherent traits of people. Some people choose to resist the urge to be cruel, but others give in willingly.
Unfortunately I realised at a young age that being cruel is the easiest thing to do in the world. That’s why so many people don’t put much effort into being kind.
A seriously low self-esteem left me concerned that people were always looking at me and seeing how flawed and clumsy and stupid and awkward I was. My first wife made me realise that it wasn’t about them at all. It was about me indulging me. To hell with everyone else. I needed to spoil myself, spend on myself, and just appreciate myself because every day was a struggle, and I needed to reward myself for those struggles that I contended with and still managed to keep my head on straight and maintain my dignity and faith in the process.
So now I cherish moments when I can sit alone in a restaurant, enjoying a meal by myself, allowing my mind to wander, and turning the tables completely. Where I was the one that felt like I was being observed and mocked and ridiculed, I am now the one looking at others and seeing the tell-tale signs of their insecurities and vulnerabilities being lavishly disguised by fashion statements and obnoxious behaviour…and occasionally I see a couple or even an individual that literally warms me up inside when I witness what appears to be their sincere appreciation of life, or of each other on their faces. At times like that it feels like I’ve come full circle, finally ready to embrace another lifetime of beautiful challenges.