Sweetpea in a Pod

I think you should take note of the things that surprise you, because they tell you something about yourself and your expectations, although sometimes it takes a while to figure out what.

Right now, I’m surprised by each and every time someone (other than my grandmother) has called me “sweet.” And it’s a lot of people, and the number is rising rapidly, and pretty well confuses me every time. Me? Sweet? Well–I didn’t think I was mean. Or brutish. But sweet is pretty far to the other extreme. Sweet is for girls with princess-like delicate features. Sweet is for girls that don’t know how to get angry. Sweet is for cute little giggles and always and up-beat attitudes, and people you could never not-like.

In other words, definitely not me.

Well, maybe the giggles, sometimes.

But, still.

Still. . .despite my protestations to the contrary, if I look at the words I would used to describe myself, I guess I do presume to think of myself as a bit brutish: stubborn; proud of my knowledge and abilities; determined to be right; unrefined; needy; short-tempered; a know-it-all; bossy; angry; fearful; self-absorbed; unsatisfiable; short-sighted; ungrateful.

And maybe some of those things are true. Maybe all of them. But I am more hesitant to talk about the other side, cautious that I’ll be accused of being self-flattering: patient to teach; encouraging; gentle; empathetic; loyal; caring; nurturing; protective of others; and maybe many other things that I dare not take upon myself.

But–sweet? Sweet makes me wonder what kind of a liar I am, that they could think that. Have I gotten so well at hiding the darkness that they don’t know it’s there? Or is all the world so dark that it makes me seem brighter in comparison–hasn’t anyone else ever said a kind word to them?

Deeper still, underneath it all. . .I think sweet is word used on people who are admired and wanted. And more than anything, I’m not sure I dare believe that.

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