When people show you who they are, believe them

There is a quote from Maya Angelou, that Oprah Winfrey added to, that I really feel like is very apt these days.

It’s “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time”

It sounds a little weird until you digest it. People will show you who they are on the offset, and your perspective might change it, but it will still shine through.

People are mostly upfront about who they are, even if their words don’t match the actions. It’s what they do, how they interact with you, and how they react to you that’s a real reflection how their true selves are.

I think this mostly is the easiest to see in a significant other. We try and make excuses for the people we love, but the excuses will run out. Who they are will always come up. And it’s not really their fault if you just keep hoping they’ll change into someone that you feel will be a better fit. They’re trying to show you who they are, and whether you can accept that or not, do yourself a favor and see them for who they really are, not who you hope they’ll be. It’s a disservice to you, to them, and it will just result in hurt feelings and disappointment for all those involved.

In a professional setting, especially in this climate, it’s difficult to keep pretending. The truth will always reveal itself, when they slip or when you let yourself accept it. And if you’re the one trying to hide behind a cheery demeanor or a fake connection, you’re giving yourself more trouble in the long run.

What am I trying to say? I guess that it’s exhausting not accepting what’s right in front of you. Hope is heartbreaking when the truth is a whole other thing altogether.

Listen to people when they show you who you are. And forgive yourself if you’ve pretended long enough.

Because if anything is to be believed about this year, it’s that time isn’t guaranteed. Not for anyone.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. It’s the only fair thing for how we treat each other.


I don’t know what to say.

We’re all living in a dystopian world, and we’re all having to deal with this apart from the people we’re living with.

Somehow it doesn’t feel real. What’s happening to everyone in the world right now. And while I can genuinely call myself fortunate, my family is healthy, together and keeping each other in what these times can only call sane, you can’t help but feel for everyone else going through crap right now.

I guess it’s the demonizing of other people that’s making it harder. Everyone is facing a kind of isolation but also trying to be there for each other. Where we used to just run to each other for a real hug or just being in the same room, now it’s the one basic thing that’s keeping us alive and safe. We don’t know who has it, and a once innocent handshake can now literally lead to someone dying.

No man is an island, but it feels like we’re all now islands apart. For an unclear period of time. Until there’s a clear cut cure, until we know we can survive this as a species.

Technically, life hasn’t changed that much for me, I get up, I go to work without changing out of what I slept in, make food, eat food, clean up. But there’s something isn’t it, when your mere being is a threat to life. I am sure every introvert started this thing sure that they would be winning at isolation, but now more than 30 days later wanting to be with the people they’re not living with, or just feel the “normalcy” of everyday socialization. Of finding an end to the uncertainty of what will happen to us, or the economy, or the people at risk, or the possibility of finding a way to be with each other again.

The world is turning on each other a lot of the time, and it seems like we can’t celebrate anything, or mourn anything without getting some backlash. And I have been a coward, hiding, lurking at other people’s posts and writing while not being able to put into words what it is that’s going on, and overwhelmed with feeling everything and nothing all at the same time.

I’m closing one chapter of my life and starting a new one this month, which is scary in itself, but also a miracle in this climate. I will acknowledge how fortunate I am to be able to do this and keep going, but also know how far I’ve come in the past year (in weight gain at least, further than ever before).

Even a joke feels insensitive. And wrong. But I do hope that people find pockets of joy in this time. And if you can hold on to it and keep it close, do it.