We are back at this blogging thing friends.
Seems I am only inspired to write when I've just finished cleaning my kitchen, there is a hazardous amount of candles lit and the music is louder than most people can tolerate.
But here we are once more and I'm prompted to share my heart and what it's aching about.
Do me a favour and go listen to this song before we dive in. It has been on repeat all evening and it's the lyrical courage moving me to write this piece (usually liquid courage provides this but #SoberSummer2019 is still going strong.
I recently watched an Instagram story by an acquaintance, where she discussed what it's like to be on the outside of seemingly all her friendships. This hit me hard. I've never had anyone spell out my life before, in words I would have myself chosen.
I am a hotpot of pridefulness, social anxiety and guilt. No one understands this odd combo better than my mother, whom I am just like, especially in this way (Thanks MOM).
If those traits sound confusing all together, let me explain. I am proud to a fault. When they talk about how pride is a sin, that's me. Conversely, I also constantly worry that my actions in a friendship or relationship have hurt or offended the other person. I replay conversations over and over in my head. Was what I said mean, uncalled for, or too much to share? Did I give enough of myself? Did I let them share enough? All this anxiety manifests in guilt.
My entire life, in every scenario, I have hovered on the outskirts of cliches, friend groups and communities. I have also, blamed everyone else for putting me there.
Why wasn't I invited?
Do they only invite me out of obligation?
There is no room for me in their life.
I am no ones first choice.
These destructive thoughts have plagued me since primary school. Don't get me wrong, I've been blind to how good I have it. I have friends, excellent ones. You can find friends anywhere, you just have to look. But I find myself, or as I'm starting to learn, plant myself, on the outskirts of community because it is easier to complain that other people don't want me than to actually find out if they do and then step into the beautiful mess that is true community.
So what am I doing about this?
Honestly, not a whole lot. It's a process. I'm scared anytime I ask for things from friends. Time, help, support, effort. But there are some things I try to do, and some I think about doing. Moving forward looks a little like this.
It's teaching myself that people aren't mad at me unless they tell me they are. And if they say they forgive me, it's okay to believe them and move on.
It's pursuing friendships that are healthy and important instead of waiting for people to pursue me. It's putting myself out there and saying "Hey, you're important to me. I'm going to work for us to be closer until you ask me to stop". It's crying in friends cars because you love them and never really told them or asked for anything in return.
It's holding myself accountable to show up and participate, otherwise I really will be an outsider looking in. It's realizing all friendships weren't meant to be and some turn out different than you wanted or expected. It's not pouring into things that make you anxious or sad.
It's like everything else in life. It's prioritizing, it's work, but it's worth it.
I'm worth it. And so are they.
So are you.