Came across this the other day (thank you, once again, Yogi Teas, for your inspired labels), and I found it particularly applicable this week.
I don’t know what provoked it, but I’ve been a little down this week. Feeling a little lonely. Alone. Ostracized. Excluded. I guess I was due for it – this year has been pretty free of lows for me.
That’s the thing I’ve never been able to quite conquer – the fact that I seem to be somewhat of a walking contradiction. I’ve never been afraid to go after the things that I want the most, but I’m consumed by fear of rejection when it comes to getting the one thing I truly want more than anything in the world. I love being around people, yet I find myself so crippled by fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, or what other people are thinking, or of judgements, that I have a hard time really being completely comfortable around anyone until I know that they are receptive to my friendship.
Much in the same vein, I do have trouble letting my guard down, and being vulnerable. Maybe it’s age, or maybe it’s just oversensitivity, but I feel like the few occasions in which I have allowed myself to open up, I’ve ended up getting hurt. I realize that pain and struggle is part of the process, but so much of me wonders why it has to be so hard for people to just be real. Say what they mean. Mean what they say. Avoid conflict. Though I’m starting to think that in my attempts to avoid conflicts, I’ve hurt myself – squandered opportunities, been passed over for someone more assertive. And that truly hurts my heart.
But I’m not going to wallow in the fallout of a bad day (which, by all accounts, should have been a great day – had I not allowed myself to feel like the outsider looking in). I’m going to use it as a learning experience, and motivation to know that something amazing is at the end of the tunnel. A reward for the struggles. To finally get that ultimate happiness that is sure to be the result of overcoming what may now appear to be impossible challenges. As much as I hate the saying “good things come to those who wait,” I do hope it’s true – because as long as I feel like I’ve been waiting, something pretty amazing has to be ahead of me.
Wow, they aren’t kidding … this definitely does make me feel old. It’s scary to think how quickly time passes. Especially since some of these made me think of high school (you know, the height of the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync; Britney before she got married twice, had a couple kids and went crazy; Christina before she got drrty, gained weight, got married, had a kid, got divorced, and started playing with the boys on The Voice; and Jessica got married, had a reality show, got divorced, became a fashion mogul, had another reality show, became a Fashion Star mentor and had a baby). Yup, feeling pretty old.
This morning, I woke up to a conversation on the radio discussing the best year of your life – apparently some study determined that age would be 33. My thought? Excellent! I’m not even there yet!
I listened for a few minutes (good excuse to stay cuddled up in my blankets, yes?), and the conversation continued to explain that up until this point – and I’m guessing beyond, if you’d let it – your life just continues to get better.
Now, I’ll be the first one to say that I feel like I go through a bit of a metamorphosis every few years. At 31, I don’t feel that I’m the same person I was at 28, and at 28, I wasn’t the same person I was at 25, and at 25, I wasn’t the same person I was at 22 – and God knows I wasn’t the person I was at 18 when I was 22 (thank goodness!). I do feel that I’ve finally gotten to the point where, while I may not totally have it all figured out, I at least know what I want – and a lot of the pieces have fallen into place. I’m fortunate to say that I have a successful “real” career, a “play” side-job that I absolutely love, and I have made some great friends throughout my life. Yes, there is that one elusive piece still missing – someone to share my life with – but I’m continuing to have great faith that, as Kim (one of my very closest friends) always tells me, “he’s just not ready yet.”
So here’s to getting older! I think if nothing else, age has helped me become a little wiser, a little calmer (just ask my mom … or my high school friends), and a little more flexible. No, life is never going to be perfect. But I like to think that although I’m still not exactly where I want to be, I’m on my way.