fitting.


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.        

xo
    
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43 comments:

Tina said...

I can totally relate. I'm in the very same boat. I get all nervous and try "too hard" in social situations and I always end up saying something wrong or stupid.
I don't know if it will every end.... even your good at making friends or not. I try not to let it bother me too much anymore but it does... :)

Melissa said...

I think your post is honest and pure. The truth be told, everyone is awkward...even those that are flocked too! And, I bet, way down deep, you've already embraced who you are...you don't need your thirties to do that. Your thirties will bring you exactly what you wish for...the confidence to be exactly who God intended you to be!

Amy said...

I'm sure you've heard this before but...

"A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the kind of car I drove......but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."

You can add to that "it will not matter how many friends I had." You are changing the world by raising your two boys to be wonderful, God-loving men. (But I know it's still hard) I think many people struggle with insecurity and feeling left out, but most just don't admit it. I am in a situation now where someone has hurt me deeply... and I don't think they even realize it. Or if they do realize it, they don't care. Which makes me sad.

I read your blog often but rarely comment. I love your crafty stuff and the fact that you are able to create such fun things (and so many things!) while still being a mommy to your boys. I don't know if you've ever visited my blog, but you inspired me to make a felt name banner for my daughter. I adore it. I hope you're having a happy Sunday! :)

B said...

It's pretty amazing; reading that post was like reading about myself. I was far from popular at school and as an adult can count my friends on one hand and 2 of those are my sisters! I have to say, I think (as I near 40) the only thing that I've learned is that even the most popular girls feel lost sometimes. I think we all are guilty of standing on the outside and assuming stuff about the people on "the inside". I read your blog and see a cool, confident, talented woman (as I'm sure does everyone else who frequents your blog...all 508 of them!) it's ashame you don't see her looking back at you when you look in the mirror, I'm sure that would make you see things/feel very differently.

You are fabulous, with 5 friends or 5 thousand.

Much love,

B x

Debbie/StudioBeeCreations said...

Sweet girl....I understand your feelings...even a woman like me at the ripe old age of 55 can relate. But, you are loved...you are adored....and you are followed by many..those who seem to diss you, or be against you are only jealous of who you are and what you have. That is what makes them turn on you. Even at my age, I experience the feelings of sometimes being inadequate..of people you think are friends, turn around & stab you in the back....just shake your head...be sorry for them...and know that you are blessed....you are a creative inspiration to many.
blessings, Debbie

Ree said...

OK... I think I have more to say than I want to say in comments. Maybe I will email you. But I couldn't leave this up here with no comments - although that's probably because you're moderating?

Anyway... I think you probably have lots of readers who relate, including me. It's really a shame that so much of our self-image is formed in high school, when probably no one (even the popular kids, I'm guessing, although I wasn't one) feels like they really belong.

I love your blog, and your post made me laugh in a way because I've been following you for a couple of months and kind of feel like you're my friend. I think your blog (and etsy shop) is such a happy, friendly place. I like the emphasis on things not having to be perfect to be beautiful. I like your honesty, the parts of yourself that you share, the way your faith is evident but not obnoxious (does that make sense?)I love your creativity and am very inspired - I actually have a yarn wreath on my front door that I copied from you, with a little burlap twist of my own.

Mary Elizabeth said...

hey - that was really a neat post - putting yourself out there like that.

i do not like large crwods and like to stay in my little comfort zone which drives my husband nutty - i hate to go to functions at the club with him - so he usually goes alone. I am shy - at least till I get to know people.

I struggle stepping out of my zone - so I can totally understand how you feel.

If you lived on my street - I know that we would be the best of friends (or would like to think you would like me in person) I think you rock - as a Mom, Wife, Friend & Crafty Gal!!! :)

Simply Sara said...

Oh Crystal. I so hear your heart.
Fitting in has always been challenging for me too... and sadly in the past I have made choices to change myself in order to fit in. (I was one of the ones who WAS up to something in high school)

But now I happily say "in the past" because I have determined to be authentic. Real. Transparent. I have started to truly believe who God actually says I am rather than seeing myself through muddy lenses.

I just finished reading the book "so long insecurity" by beth moore and to say it was amazing would be a huge understatement.
HIGHLY recommend it!
It helped me see where the roots of my insecurity started and how to live daily in the joy of knowing who I am (and loving me for me.)

Just wanted you to know you aren't alone!

p.s you are NOT a dork :)

anna said...

I heart you just like you are!! I miss seeing you SO much! Loved seeing your face this morning!

Carrie said...

I love your honesty, I feel like I have "try" to fit in to, when really I don't. I am Happy with me. You Rock for sharing you are braver than me and have amazing craft ideas!

1 Funky Woman said...

I appreciate you being honest! I understand how much you would like to have friends in the same town verses in the blog world, where for me some of my friends are in Australia! I think you need to realize that some of those women you encounter daily are going through their own self esteem issues and although they seem to be the popular ones they have their own demons they are trying to work out.

I think you are an amazing creative person, that is why I am a follower and sometimes you need to understand that having your family adore really can be enough! If you don't have self esteem and realize God made you for you then what can you teach your sweet boys? They look up to you .

I think you need my favorite quote and I hope you believe in it because I do....

Be who you are and say what you feel because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind.
~ Dr. Seuss

Megan

La TempĂȘte said...

HUGS!!!

Trish said...

You have a friend in Michigan. Which is probably not at all comforting since I live about 12ish hours away! But for the record you were the first person I flocked too in virtual land :)

You are spunky, sweet, real and love Jesus. You don't pretend to be someone you are not, your creations are superb and from the heart and you are an inspiration to me :)

xoxoxoxoxo
hugs!

Whimsical Creations said...

Hugs!!

Sara said...

I struggled with this for a very long time myself. I was always on the outside in high school, then I went to college and saw more of the same, but it did get better. I found that part of the problem was my own insecurity. When you let go and be yourself, regardless of what people think, I think you will find that people will want to be with you. Just be true to who you are. That is the most important thing. Don't try to transform yourself into the person you think others want you to be. I don't know you except through the blogging world, but I can tell you have a lot to offer a friend.

Most of all, Pray about it!

Susie said...

Your self awareness, knowing who you are is amazing. Girl, you will feel so much more at peace in your 30's. Their really does come a point where you just feel fine being who you are. My parents were like yours, I can totally relate, yet I was the girl that had friends in every circle. It was strange really, the cheerleaders, the punks, the it clique, the nerds, I seemed to mesh with all of them seemlessly and still do....that said....guess what? sometimes i question who i am. Do I just blend in with whatever crowd and be aggreable because I'm friendly or is it because I'm afraid that I won't be liked? We all seem to question who, what, how we are, or how we fit in. You are an honest and amazing writer, give yourself more credit. you have many followers who you fit in perfectly with, including me. Thanks for honesty. Whew, that was like a little therapy session for me! ;) Thanks. Happy weekend hon.

Angela said...

This post resonated with me SO much. I thought you were talking about me. :)

I have struggled with this my WHOLE life, and I too, am in my 30's now. I skirted by on the fringes in high school, was ignored the majority of the time, and tried to change who I WAS just to fit in. It didn't make me happy at all.

Now, I still skate by on the fringes and feel like I am still ignored the majority of the time. It still hurts. Very much. My heart was touched so very much by your sweet, honest post. Even though I live in Utah, you are always welcome to leave a comment or write me an email--whimsystamp@gmail.com

Hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

I have not read the Beth Moore book, So Long, Insecurity, but knowing what I know about the author and about that book , I would think that is a great suggestion. A second suggestion is to think about this: Happiness is not having what you want, it is wanting what you have--in other words, dwelling on your husband, children, creativity, etc. instead of the friendships. You are blessed in so many ways. Many would love to trade places with you. A final suggestion would be to try to get to the root of why you are not developing those friendships...perhaps by asking a trusted person who knows you well, like a sister-in-law, pastor, Sunday school teacher, etc., what it might be that is a barrier for those friendships to form. If you are giving out vibes that you are a loving, caring,giving, friendly, non-threatening, normal person, then there should be some folks who could be friends, I would think. God bless you.

Sandra said...

Darling girl, sometimes these thoughts get the better of me too. You are loved and adored by the people that count - your sweet family, heavenly Father and close friends. And there's a lot of love even by some that don't count that much in the big scheme of things (like your 500 plus followers).
I pray you will continue to grow in confidence to love and enjoy yourself, just as you are. I think you are pretty amazing!

happylittleprince said...

We may not be perfect, but Jesus thinks we are too die for! :-)

Shelly said...

All I have to say is I wish we lived in the same town!!!!!!! :-) xo

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

I don't have any wise words, but I just wanted you to know that I feel like you're my friend because I read your fun, happy blog all the time - even though you don't even know I exist. Isn't that weird and funny?! xoxo

Amy H. said...

I loved your honesty. It makes you incredibly brave. I understand and I feel those same feelings of anxiety of "Do they like me?" when in new situations. I find myself wanting, needing and wishing for those relationships. By the time thursday has come, I usually need to just get out of the house. So my Hubby, will say go do something. But if only I had that steady stream of girlfriends to call up to just go get a pedicure with or even walk the aisles of Target. But I find myself feeling lonely, forgotten, and not loved. Hum...I need to stop writing this as I am tearing up. But thank you.

xo
Amy

BC said...

What a great post! I find it so fascinating how God uses all different ways to draw us to him. Each of us experiences something different in our journey to know Him.

I have never really struggled with social insecurities like you mentioned that you do. Rather, I struggle relentlessly with contentment and {more specifically} I look for joy in material possessions. That is something that I don't see you (at least on this blog) struggling with at all. You always seem to make the most of everyday and everything that you have - whatever your portion may be.

God has been reminding me OVER and OVER this year that the many discomforts of our lives here on Earth (in whatever form those take) are to remind us that we don't truly belong here. And that when we reach heaven, we won't have these nagging insecurities and character flaws. Discomforts lead us to Him. I am clinging to that lately as I constantly battle my contentment issues...something I loathe about myself. I want so badly to be free from looking at what I don't have, instead of what I do have. Because I know I have more than I could ever deserve!

Just thought I would share that in the spirit of bloggy transparency!

:)

Russ, Anna, Pepper and Vesper said...

You have no idea how much your 30's will be about exactly this, loving who you are, completely!!!!!! You already know God loves you, the first step. I PROMISE you will find the peace you are looking for in the next few years. I have a lot of friends that are approaching 30 and terrified. I have tried so hard to express to them 30's are soooooo much better than 20's

Judy said...

I think you are wonderful!

I'm 51 and never feel as if I fit in. It does hurt less as time goes on.

One thing that REALLY helped me was reading an address that C.S. Lewis gave to a college graduating class. It's called "The Inner Ring" which I believe can be found on-line. If you have a chance to read it, I think you may find it somewhat helpful. I know I did.

erica said...

I absolutely love everything about your blog. It is my favorite of all of the crafty mom blogs I read, by far. As far as the blogosphere goes, you are definitely one of the cool kids. You have over 500 followers, which means there are thousands of people who read your blog.

I just turned 36, and I can tell you that being in my 30's has certainly brought me more confidence and made me very comfortable in most situations.

I'm sure that your prayers, combined with your most amazing skills and charm will take you exactly where you want to go.

SarahRachel said...

I've read your blog twice at different times today because I keep thinking about it.
I keep thinking about how you and how we never quite made it into the friendship realm back at NH and how I wish I would have tried harder because you have such a beautiful soul. I'm bummed that it took me reading your blog to figure this out because I think we could have been good friends. We have lots of mutual friends so it would have made sense.
I was talking to my hubby about this post and said it really reminded me to look for people in group settings or just people I encounter every day who aren't the people I'm naturally drawn to and to make a point of reaching out to people who aren't in my "group" of friends. Jesus did a lot of that and I'm pretty sure we're supposed to be like Him. =)
Thanks for sharing, Crystal.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my yes. I can so relate. I've been fortunate to go to different blogger meetups and have fun at them. But then when everyone gets home & writes about who they met and saw? I am ALWAYS left off of the lists. And so I wonder, am I really that forgettable? It hurts sometimes. I know I shouldn't let it bother me, but it still does so. We all want to feel like we're memorable to someone. Thanks for writing this & putting yourself out there. B.

i love plum said...

i hear you crystal...i do. i feel my experiences have been very similiar to yours however i WAS one of those popular girls but felt SO alone and INSECURE that i'd push everyone away. i was never comfortable with any kind of attention and would much rather spend my time reading a book...being alone. i'm still like this today and have only my sisters and my husband as my true, true friends. the ladies call...they try and make plans...something stops me everytime. i'm constantly asking myself 'why do they like me?' 'what do they want from me?'...telling myself 'i'm not worthy for their friendships'. it's a stinky feeling. i most likely sound like poor me. but really, i'm quite ok with the way things are. i enjoy blogging because i can be true and somewhat anonymous. if people judge me they can do it and it won't hurt so much because i don't know who they are. so INSECURE!!!

i think you're a beautiful person and enjoy reading about your beautiful messy life...love your crafty ingenuity. continue to just love who you are and i'll try and do the same...k?

xoxo

sara said...

i'm right there with ya. thank you for sharing your thoughts. i think more of us moms can relate than you would think.

Karen said...

Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing your heart. I can relate to so many of the things you said. the funny thing is, that at MOPS I've always thought that you WERE one of the people who seemed to fit in and people were flocking to, and I've envied you. From talking to a couple others, I think many of us feel that way, and it reminds me that I need to step out of my comfort zone and reach out to people more.

And for the record, I think you're a wonderful mom and person, and it's clear that lots of people feel the same way.

Heather K. said...

Thanks for the honest and very real post. So often in blogland it is so easy to get caught up in the desire to seem perfect and all together. God spoke to me a bit through your post. I have been struggling lately with people and how to deal with them effectively. I am not always very good at simple relationships. I try to go too deep and it puts people off. I feel like such a dork most of the time. I, myself only have 3 really close friends. I am terrible at casual relationships, they confuse me :) I pray a lot that God will teach me how to be different but as you said, he created us the way we are for a reason. Thanks again!

ccp said...

i'm so thankful that we WERE drawn together -- as awkward and difficult as it may have been. but i'm so thankful that it doesn't take any thought now. our friendship is natural, and i secretly want to be like you :)

Modern Frills said...

love your blog. i follow it and just added you to my blogroll on my blog. if your shop and blog are any reflection of who you are (which i am sure they are), you are a fun, friendly, colorful person that has lots to offer!!!

Jess @ Just a Blink said...

Hey Little Bit Funky,

I'll pray your 30's are a brilliant time for you to shine. Shine in your own skin, your own purpose, your own home and even in your friendships.

Peace.

Kat said...

Well, I think you're awesome and amazing and talented. And your blog is a FAR bigger "magnet" than mine and I'm kinda jealous of that! I don't think you were shopping for compliments writing this, but I wanted to say it.

I have always been one of those "people magnets" in real life, though, and I have to say, it took me a long time to figure people out - who was a real friend? Who wasn't? So be thankful for those friendships and that you don't have people flocking to you for more superficial reasons, because there's a downside to both ends of the spectrum.

And honestly, my "secret" to being a people person, looking back over things are these. 1) I never tried to be liked or cared too much if I was. And 2) I really really LIKE people, find them interesting and want to know all about them.

No condescending intended at all. You have plus points that I only dream of. Just thought I'd share my two cents.

Jessica said...

well ... everyone wrote such heartfelt, true things to you ... so i don't have too much to add. just know that you have touched so many people with your blog and your honesty. as you can see from all the comments and emails ... you are loved!!! :)

The Mangerchine's said...

I would definitely be friends with you in real life! I LOVE your heart for the Lord, your transparency, your creativity, your style, and your sense of humor!!!! You're a great "package" if you will!

sandandstarfish said...

I may not know you well, but I love you. Deep down I do... because we're a lot alike... and if you lived closer, I'd invite you over for diet cokes and we'd talk awkwardly for a little bit but then it would disappear and we'd be normal. and we'd be friends :)
I love you.
God loves you.

Jennifer said...

I feel the exact same way as you about this. I've never been the person that everyone is just automatically friends with or wants to be friends with.
I moved from my home in Dallas to Austin awhile back and I have yet to meet a single solitary person that I have become friend with . . . but that's one of the many reasons I'm drawn to this blogging world.
I'm here for you anytime if you need a shoulder(email) or anything just give me a shout!

Jeni said...

I feel the EXACT same way. I lived a pretty tough life growing up and wasn't able to build and sharpen those social skills as other girls my age. Now, I'm almost thrity and still feel that strong need to just be included and "fit in". I understand what you mean, and I feel like this is the same thing I always talk to my husband about.

It's really nice, although as unfortunate these circumstances are, to know that there are women like me out there. When you wrote this post I wanted to just hug you!

{{Hugs}}

Jeni

Jessica @ One Shiny Star said...

This was on your "posts like this one" list... so clicked on over. I know - I'm a bit late. lol.

I never considered myself popular, but I am pretty easy to get along with. Having moved 20+ times as a kid, making friend quick was a requirement. What I found is that we tend to like people, who like themselves.

I try to make sure I am the kind of person I would want to be around. I've noticed that when I am happy with myself, I tend to make more friends. I've also noticed that, in many situations, every one feels a little left out, a little awkward, and a little ignored. Just look at new friends like I look at my garden. I try to be the best gardener I can, I do the watering and weeding - I even talk to my plants! But some times, things just don't work out. And that's not my fault.

Be the best you can be, and the people you are meant to be with will find you. :)

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