A few years ago one of those things happened in my life. You know, those things that show up just to kick you while you’re down and make sure you stay there, limp and lifeless for a while? Yup. One of those.
It was pretty brutal. As it always is.
I’ve spent most of my life feeling like an outsider, like I’m always watching everyone else live their lives and wishing I could be a part of it. I had a best friend when I was a kid and I LOVED that girl! But we went to different schools, different churches… I remember being in elementary school and breaking down in tears in the middle of class because I just MISSED my person.
In middle school I remember hearing that there was a new kid moving in, and I remember being SO so excited, and going home and literally praying to God that this new person would be my new friend.
Lilo and Stitch is still one of my favourite movies – my heart ACHES for that little girl EVERY. DAMN. TIME.
So when life threw this curveball at me I felt completely lost. I felt like I had no one, no backup. I definitely didn’t feel like I had a BFF to cry to and to tell me I could do all the bloody hard things all the damn day.
I remember feeling so utterly lost and alone. And scared. I NEEDED people. I needed help. I couldn’t do this on my own.
But I am JUST awkward enough to make it weird. At least for me.
I am BRILLIANT at small -talk. It has taken me YEARS of practice, but if you make eye contact with me I can talk your ears right off and can almost guarantee that I will make you smile. It’s a major effort every single time, but I KNOW how much I get in my head, and so I talk to people, just in case it’s helpful.
But with this gift of gab that I’ve worked on over time I have not successfully managed to bust myself past the superficial stuff. I YEARN to connect with people, to be in the images on my Facebook feed with people I’m trying to be friends with going out and having fun without me. I ache for invitations to birthday parties and movie nights. And every time there’s something going on and I’m NOT invited it’s ALWAYS MY FAULT. There’s obviously something wrong with me. Everybody likes me, but nobody wants me. I am a failure.
I gave up a little while ago. I decided, screw it! I don’t need people. I updated my online life accordingly with an announcement via cover-photo “if you want to be strong learn how to fight alone.”
Screw you people. I don’t need you to do this. I can do this on my own. I am an ISLAND.
What a load of hooey.
It started to dawn on me last summer when I was training for a half-marathon. The only reason i was running the stupid thing was because I WAS INVITED, and then I knew I didn’t have nearly as much running savvy as my acquaintance over here, so I asked his opinion, and suddenly we had founded a running group whose main objective was to get Rebecca across the finish line.
Wait a minute. I’M INVITED. And I have HELP.
Then there was a big fancy evening coming up, and I didn’t want to go because last year I wanted to go but no one wanted to go with me and it STUNG sitting all alone, on my island, pretending not to care.
But then I had multiple invitations to sit with people.
Then I was venting to some gals about how overwhelmed I get with the clutter in my life and working and mom-ing and just UGH and they two said, we can come help! And they pulled out their calendars and scheduled a day and LITERALLY CAME AND CLEANED MY HOUSE WITH ME.
More recently I was contacted to join a networking group and on a phone call regarding it and the organizer’s major plans to help make MY dreams reality I expressed my shock and awe that she had thought of me. And she said…why wouldn’t I have thought of you? ….uhhhh well, I dunno. I guess I am pretty cool when you look at it from any angle that’s not inside my own brain! hahaha
Then, the kickboxing tournament. You’ve maybe read about that one already. Unfreakingbelievable. Coaches. Teammates. Family. Un. Real.
So yeah, you know what? I am a bit awkward. I’m NOT always the one that people want to invite to hang out on the weekends, and I’m NOT always in on all the inside jokes.
But when my mind shifted and I opened my eyes – I had nothing to be wishing for in the first place. I have PEOPLE. There are people everywhere. And they love me because I am freaking awesome. And I am NOT alone, not ever. Not even the smallest bit. My people are all around me, and they are MINE.
All I can say if you’re struggling like I have my ENTIRE life to feel connected is just relax, breathe. And then open your eyes. You are SO important to so many people. I promise you that. You just have to let yourself believe it. And if that doesn’t work let me know because I’ve got you. Being an island SUCKS.