As a teenager and youngish adult I spent so much time unhappy because I had this desperate need to make people like me, need me, want me. I never thought that I was enough for people to stick around for. I didn’t hold my own opinions, views, or thoughts, because that would make me stand out. I was who I was around. If someone I spent time with liked a song, I liked it. My parents held certain religious beliefs, so I did too. I did what people expected of me.
Then somewhere around 28-30 years old I started to realize that my happiness was so much more important than being liked. I began to stumble through this process of finding our who I was… the things that truly mattered to me, and the things that didn’t. In this process I lost friends. I moved to this space of being so overly audible about my thoughts/beliefs that people started disliking me not because of my opinions, but because of my inability to respectfully hold an opinion. I had to prove that I was smart enough to hold my own opinions, so I yelled, and I yelled loudly. I was offensive and mean, and I didn’t care who it hurt.
I soon started to realize I was in such a lonely place, not because of others but because of me. I began to understand that life isn’t about screaming the loudest and being heard, it’s about being confident in who I am and never wavering from that but also respecting others as they do the same. It’s something I still struggle with, and I am sure I put a lot of people off because I am so bold in my opinions.
I found that I feel my true purpose in life is love people… the people who others don’t want to love, the people who no one can see really need love, the people who hurt, who cry, who fear, who laugh, who smile. All of the people, all of the time. I need to love them all. I found a few friends who supported this in me, and I clung to those people. I started to find my stride and I was happy. Truly happy.
Then things happened and I started chipping away at this wall inside of me that surrounded years of hurt and bitterness. Then, my friend moved to the other side of the country and my foundation of confidence started to waiver. I held it together for a while because I was still working and in my routine, and then vacation came and I was in my happy place with my people. Then I came home… and she isn’t here and I’m all alone.
It’s such a weird place to be in, feeling so alone. My family isn’t going to church right now, and honestly it’s really difficult to make connections with people in this town without going to church. I feel like I’m not churchy enough for church people, and I’m not unchurchy enough for non-church people. I struggle to find a place to fit in and as someone who values authenticity I find it difficult to not be myself around new people… but I find it even more difficult to be myself around new people.
I’m in this place where I so deeply long to connect with people, but I am so afraid of being hurt and rejected that I can’t open myself to anyone. I am pushing away everyone in my life and becoming this depressed, reclusive person.
My heart is wounded. I am scared. I am lonely. I am me.