Recently Ive been looking very closely at myself and my life. This last year I have questioned a lot and have been learning so much about who I used to be, who I am now and who I want to become.
Before having children, years ago… even before meeting my husband I created a world for myself; one that drew people in and yet kept them very very far away from me. I could hold a conversation with anyone and they would not have a clue that I had no idea what I was talking about, or even better that it was all a lie. I don’t know if it’s because I had such low self-confidence and felt my true personality/identity wasnt good enough or because the sting of rejection would hurt that much more if they did know the real me and still shut me out.
Obviously lies dont get you anywhere but tangled and buried in hurt, confusion and loneliness. Thankfully I had a best friend throughout highschool who saw me for who I truly was and when I later met my husband I was beginning to see God’s path for me. Over the years I have discovered the joy and unbelievable peace that comes from knowing you aren’t hiding who you truly are anymore; letting people in, being honest about your mistakes, opening up about the lessons you’ve learned in your life…God was showing me how to open up and how to have Faith that who I was underneath was worthy and good enough.
Over this last year or more however I have been very hurt by people who were supposed to be my friends and struggled with making new ones. Ive thought I could trust someone who betrayed me in a heartbeat, or could rely on someone who left me stranded and suffering alone, or gave everything I had to the friendship thinking it was appreciated and the feelings were mutual when I was just being used. In school I had my one best friend and didnt care if I made any more friends and have since realized I want to be surrounded by friends and loved ones. I want to have my life overflowing with friends to love and be loved in return. I want true friends who will help me stay focused on God and help motivate me to be a better wife and mother. You wouldnt think they would be that hard to find….or that hard to keep for that matter.
After searching and struggling I begin to think maybe I am looking in the wrong places OR maybe I am not being the type of honest, friendly, caring person I think I am. Would I want to be friends with me? I like to think so….. so I wonder why is it so hard? I ask God, I pray I wait, I listen …. I have found wonderful amazing people who I am working at developing friendships with recently and am SO grateful to God for putting them in my life. But there are still days I find myself discouraged. Days I find no one returns my calls or messages or has any time and yet again I am sitting alone wondering if im back to square one.
Of course it’s just my insecurities talking and years of rejecting possible friendships simply to keep people from knowing me that has caused me to doubt and second guess when someone actually is my friend. But it makes me wonder, would I know a true friend if it were right in front of me? I know no one will compare to the friendship I have that has taken over ten years to be where it’s at… but I can’t help but look at everyone I meet and wonder if they will still be around ten years from now. Will they be the type of friend I dont feel I have to impress or watch my words around because the misunderstand me? Will they be the type of friend who knows how im feeling or what I need without me even having to say anything? Will they be the type of friend who will drop everything and be there for me when I need it….because they know without a doubt I would do that for them…. do they even know that I would??
I know these kind of expectations arent realistic or fair, but I cant help but want more out of the relationships in my life. I want to be surrounded by close friends and be overflowing with love and happiness because I am so truly blessed with friendships to constantly be uplifted… I like to think that I strive to do the same for others that I expect from them, if not more… but maybe I really dont. which brings me to my resolutions…..
Ive noticed lately that there are a few things I dont do that I used to when it comes to communication or socializing with strangers or acquaintances. One thing I realized is I dont look people in the eyes. I remember when I was younger I would go visit my cousins in Colorado and we would walk the mall and people would look at me funny because I looked them right in the eyes and it seemed like people out there didnt do that very often. somewhere between that time and now Ive lost the confidence to do this. I want to look people in the eyes when I talk to them, even people that know me well… I cant seem to force myself to do it. And ive grown increasingly aware that I am doing this, even in the moment, and still havent been able to correct it.
I also dont make a point to get to know someone’s name. I used to know everyone’s name and remember it. of course now after having kids my brain is a bit scrambled but I still want to change what I can and make a point to ask people their name or notice their name tag and use their name when appropriate…. maybe it wont make a difference but I feel like learning and using someone’s name helps you build a connection with someone and also makes you look like you care.
Names and eye contact aside I have noticed that I struggle with conversations sometimes as well. I used to be able to talk with someone and it would flow smoothly and the chemistry would be great and seemingly comfortable with that person, even if they were a stranger. Now I am constantly wondering in the back of my mind, “am I talking to much?” “are they bored with what I am saying” “oh man, should I have said that?” “what should I say next”…. I mean seriously??? I have so much going on in my head that I can only imagine the person on the other end of our conversation thinks im an idiot. Sometimes I know that I talk TOO much. I walk away from those conversations and smack myself upside the head because I realize they werent able to say anything because I was too nervous and just kept on talking.
when I was younger a lot of people didnt like me because I had an attitude like ‘I dont care if you dont like me’ and had a false confidence because of this world I created. This confidence ironically is what ended up drawing people in and they wanted to be my friend and I got to chose whether or not I wanted to let them in….. Its quite frustrating that as I open up and expose myself to the world in the hopes of creating true friendships with people who wont hurt me and have the same goals or motivations in life that I lose my confidence and struggle more with acquiring friends than I did when all i did was lie to people.
Obviously there is a fine line between who I was and who I am trying to become, hopefully these resolutions of mine will help me find new friends and feed the new ones I have recently stumbled across. Its hard to get over that hump of “do I call them or do they call me” or feeling like you look desperate for constantly messaging them to go do something and having them never return the interest or feel rejected and that maybe they dont really like you because they dont ever have time to spend with you…. Satan has surely taken hold of these insecurities and plays them loud and clear every time I should be listening to God reminding me of all the people in my life and how much they do care about me…. its exhausting but seems like it will be a never ending struggle. God help me.