I know he looks like a Geography supply teacher. I like Geography supply teachers. I have been around them in staffrooms for years now and they are generally good people.
I don’t always read social situations well, I have limited verbal filters and I make clumsy mistakes. There is a strong seam of Asperger’s running through my surname and we all have flecks in our marble. But I have admired Corbyn from the moment I knew about him, which admittedly, was fairly recently.
He has made a lot of people cringe. He has looked like a bloody minded, stubborn old goat. His determination has caused division, bickering and many toys to be discarded from the party perambulator. But, he held firm, he knew what his truth was and eventually the situation around him changed. All the puffing and lashing and barging subsided and more people saw the rock, rather than the waves it created.
What Corbyn has given me this week, is a lesson in being true to yourself. In knowing where you stand and not being afraid of having an opinion. The realisation that if you try to appease everyone, you’ll please no one.
You need to be brave. You need to understand that there will always be people who disagree with you. It does not make you wrong.
When I first started blogging about a year ago, I would write an opinion piece, post it and go straight back in and edit it if anyone was upset by it. I changed what I wanted to say; I changed my opinion to make another person feel OK about their opinion. How is that ever going to be alright? How many times can you change a piece? What will you end up saying? You end up with no voice at all, so why would anyone read you?
In order to have people who like you, people who identify with you and want to read more, you have to accept that you will have the mirror opposite. There will be people who dislike what you say and disagree. Without the opportunity for dislike, you are not saying anything worthy of a like. This has taken a year to learn.
I have stopped looking at how many ‘unlikes’ I have had in a week. It doesn’t matter. I cannot keep those people as they were never mine. They have seen something they don’t sit well with and they have moved onto a better fit. I could never have made them like me without changing me, which invalidates the whole point in me writing anything.
It takes a bit of grey hair, I think. I’m starting to care less. If you don’t like what you read, I get that. It’s fine. Some people do.
And just like Corbyn, if I don’t upset a few people, I’ll never have a true enough stance to earn me the right to feel proud of my work.