• nicole calder

be not yourself

"be yourself" they say

but how can you?

in a world that wants you to be everything but yourself

a world that is fundamentally superficial

a world that rejects honesty, realness, depth

a world that favours imposters

a world founded on segregation, not connection

i have tried to be myself

and myself i have been

but i have been rejected

more times than my heart can naively handle

by those that have seen the rawest, realest, truest version;

they have all run

disappeared into oblivion

never to be heard from again


be mindful that this rejection is not exclusive to lovers

no, i am referring also to platonic lovers

the platonic lovers we call friends

those lovers that have spoken so highly, revered so deeply, and loved so seemingly wholesomely

yes, friends can reject you too

each time slashing a wound

forming scars on the heart

so many wounds

so many scars

i'm not even sure if any original heart remains

or whether it is composed entirely of hardened scars

so closed and so guarded

in attempt to prevent one more devastating slash

one more devastating rejection.

words of comfort often miss their intention

trying to explain others' actions, to justify their absence

it brings no solace

instead, the feeling of fundamental dysfunctional remains

am i too intense?

am i too deep?

is that why people run?

i know i am both intense and deep, yes

but is anyone ever too anything?

is it not sad to be made to feel

the essence of who you are

is too much?

that your rough edges need to be rounded

to be accepted

to be loved

when our past repeats itself

not just once

nor twice

but so many times you forget the original wounder

you cannot help but internalise

question, why?

why does this keep happening?

what is wrong with me?

the real me?

because only those that have seen it

have never to been seen again.


perhaps it is my fault

for attaching to these people

of whom are impermanent in nature

but what is love without attachment?

they say attachment is rooted in fear

and perhaps that is true

i am afraid that my investment

my time

my love

will lead me back here

in loneliness.

and by loneliness, i do not mean the act of being alone

it is the act of feeling misunderstood

of feeling that your authentic self is too much

of feeling that you

in your rawest, realest version

are still unlovable

but they say it is better to be hated for who you are

than loved for who you are not

and so i wonder if the author of this quote

had not been hated, but rejected

would their words differ?


hate arises in jealousy and is easily understood

rejection though, is complex

it's personal

and it often comes without explanation

and so in its absence

you begin to explain yourself

in which you seemingly conclude

the you in which you are

is not compatible with this world

to continue is to suffer

so instead, be not yourself

for you are too much of anything.

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