Going Backwards

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I am not a mean person. That individual who I posted last night was correct. Anyone who has met me in person and actually knows me is highly unlikely to say I’m mean. As for the compliments they gave me, I appreciate it.

What concerns me is the rest of it. I don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable. I never have wanted that. I want to be respected like everyone else, but not feared or even “in charge” necessarily. Just because I’m not a pushover you can take advantage of or intimidate doesn’t mean I’m longing for control. I think some people have a hard time seeing that. They assume that if you’re not easily dominated or fooled you must want to be the one “calling the shots” or “taking other people in” *rolling eyes*. Although, I do tend to find myself in leadership positions and have most of my life. Truthfully, I think I’m just healthy in that way. I have real boundaries and enforce them.

But…I’m not entirely sure what was meant by, “be more humble”. Do they mean write less about the wealth of my family and my own affluence? Do they mean to just silently enjoy what I have without sharing as much? Maybe. But, you see, the problem is where to draw the line.

When I first started posting I rarely shared that much about myself. But I shared enough to garner passive-aggressive remarks clearly driven by jealousy just by posting my photo and sharing my perfume collection. Or people assumed we were a hell of a lot more alike than we are in terms of background and class and when they figured it out, eventually, they turned sour in their opinion of me and then started passive-aggressively attacking me.

Now, the thing is, if I had rarely posted a photo of myself and made my account more faceless, I think I would have made people happier. Sorry, I’m being honest. Besides how I look being a further source of envious angst for some people (being honest) it is obviously easier to imagine the person you want to have an account if you can’t see them and therefore have nicer feelings about them. If people don’t see you but you’re kind they’re not as likely to make judgments or compare themselves but instead to interact with your actual heart and personality. People prefer to have a face and an idea of “who you are” and it’ll get you more followers but it’s maybe better to be mysterious so you can actually enjoy things.

But I didn’t think that through and I erred on the side of being open because I was in a place of being sick of dealing with petty people who wanted to diminish me. I wanted to be as lovely as I am (sorry being brutally honest) without feeling like I needed to cower under the narcissistic anxiety of another person. Sadly, while I did learn a lot I didn’t achieve my goal. I kept myself together until my life became too stressful and Instagram became more negative and then I started reacting to people without worrying about how much of a rope I was giving them to hang my account. And then I eventually overshared and it became genuinely unsafe. Of course now I share because the people who truly wish to cause genuine criminal harm are being watched and I am just sort of over it all.

And then there’s that line again. And again, no matter what, most of us in the fragrance community will have more than someone else. Do we just stop buying perfume and donate everything to those less fortunate? Because that’s where the argument goes. You can be truly generous and still have abundance if you’re abundant enough. But if that’s not good enough then none of us should have a collection and there would be no new perfume because nobody would or should be buying it. Right? Where do you draw the line? There’s a clear place where it becomes excessive and greedy but before that where is the line? And what matters? What’s best?

No, I think people saw and see their own insecurities when they observe me. They think they’re in an echo chamber or want one and then interact with the projection of themselves on me instead of me. I can be cold and too honest, but…I’m honest, not doggedly one-sided. If I see or saw your true faults I likely also noticed your genuine strengths. I didn’t have over 6,000 followers for no reason. I am a pretty decent critic and I tend to think I see at least a fair amount of things for what they are. Not everyone who doesn’t like or isn’t impressed with everything about us is insecure.

No, I understand that some people have negative feelings towards me still. Thankfully there are many who don’t and didn’t. Sadly some of them I’ll likely never see again online or elsewhere. I didn’t get to know all of the people who appreciated me and if they’re reading this too, please know that I miss you somehow, even if we never interacted. And thank you for all of the lovely time you gave me.