When I was in high school, and all through school actually, I didn't have a ton of friends. The ones I did have were more on the outer edges of what you would call popular. There were a few reasons for this...I was not allowed to do any school activities that required any time spent outside of the normal allotted school times...so sports and after school activities were out. I was rarely allowed to go to the normal hang out spots (aka in my town the skating rink!) or to friends houses...and when I did, I was the one with the parents who would show up to get you two hours early because they thought I was up to something...which, for the record, I never was.
As a result...I never really got a chance to sharpen my "fitting in and friends makin' skills". All through high school and college I struggled to fit in. I could go through the motions and never get the same results that seemed to come so easy to others. There are those people out there who others seem to flock to...who everyone wants to be friends with. I'm pretty much on the other side of that spectrum.
I always kind of hoped that I would outgrow this painful kind of social awkwardness. That one day I would grow up and be able to fit in and make friends easily. That you can grow into one of those "flocked to" types of folks. I have spent years trying to learn this "fitting in" skill...only to end up where I started. It's tough. I won't lie. I haven't outgrown a thing. I'm still awkward. I still don't have many friends. I still have to work REALLY hard in any sort of social situation. People do not flock to me. I am not included. And it still hurts as much as it did when I was five...ten or 15.
I thought that by now...I wouldn't care about being included or well liked or part of a group. Yet, I continue to find my ineptness everywhere. At MOPS, at the grocery store, my former life in Radford, even in the blog world. Every time that one of my hard earned friendly advances goes unnoticed or unreciprocated a little of me is hurt. Sometimes a lot. You can ask my poor husband about the many times that I have cried to him...about just wanting to be liked. Trying desperately to figure out what it is that I lack. Just WHAT is it about me that makes people move on so quickly. Why am I always the one in the room that is the first to be forgotten about? Why can't I be a people magnet too?
Pretty sad huh? I wish I was writing this to share that I have had some sort of breakthrough. But no. I still struggle with this daily. I daily pray for me to be happy with ME. I KNOW that God made me just this way on purpose and that He doesn't make mistakes...but doesn't He know how much it hurts me? Doesn't He know how much I would love to be included and part for a change? Doesnt' He know how much I would love to have best friends that don't live just in New Jersey and California?
I'm not saying that I am not richly blessed...I am SO thankful for the friendships that I do have...cause they run SO deep. I know that they are real and sure and true. I am happy in a life I don't deserve. I have a husband that is better than the best and kids that are more precious to me than all the world.
My prayer is that my 30's will make me confident in who I am...and to allow that confidence to sharpen me into what it is and who it is that God wants me to be. I want to read this entry ten years from now and have a good laugh at myself for being so silly...for having no idea what God had in store for me. Just as I am. Awkwardness and all.