How You Remind Me

August 9th, 2021

I like everything.

This isn’t true, of course. In fact, if you’ve ever played Nickelback in my presence you are well aware there are things I actively dislike.

But I’m told this a lot because, generally, when people start shitting all over something, I am one of the first to try to defend or understand it. Some people say it with admiration, like they wish they could try to find the brilliant aspects of dull stones; some say it with derision, like I am incapable of distinguishing good from bad.

In reality, it’s something both natural and something I had to work hard for a long time to weave back into the fabric of my DNA.

I had to mutate into positivity.

I skip most of the memories that pop up in my feed now because a lot of them make me cringe so hard I border on convulsions.

Self-pity and negativity are surefire ways for attention-seekers to get feedback, and I generated waves and waves of it, in real life and online, even though it never really felt like who I was at my core.

The kid who liked everything.

Being him felt increasingly difficult.

Hating everything, especially yourself, is easy.

Recognizing the good is hard. The world around you and the people in it can make it harder.

Until, I finally figured out, it isn’t.

When I started to make that change, which was really just reverting to the better parts of me that I felt like I had to adapt and change as I became older, I could feel people around me who were skeptical.

Like someone who said they were born again to erase their sins without putting in the work.

But as I actively scraped off years of character defects that I put there myself, I found it easier and easier to find the good under the defects of everyone and everything else. I learned that there is worth in choosing to talk about the things I like as opposed to dwelling or obsessing over what I don’t.

The idea that people around me would refer to me as the positive one in a group or a situation seemed beyond my wildest dreams of who I could be.

That that idea is reality is nothing short of hard-earned magic. And so I continue to choose to like everything.

Except Nickelback.

Okay, maybe one of their songs is okay.

Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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