Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What is In Must Come Out

   To start off the New Year right I have decided to share first a confession and then a resolution. The confession is really more of an admission of a long standing, personal, and somewhat painful insecurity I have been sheltering for some time now. In pretending that it didn't exist what I really succeeded in doing was fulfilling my own negative self image. Essentially nurturing my negative thinking, feeding it and allowing it to grow rather than bringing it to the surface and letting it shrivel in the harsh light of the sun...

   So here it is. I am... or was, in my own mind, and at times manifesting outwardly... an ankle-bitter. That desperate for friendship awkward girl who hovers around at the edge of the room waiting for an invitation to the conversation. To the inside.

   I have myself convinced that I am that one friend everyone seems to have, who on paper is perfect but in actuality is just... off. The one you get unjustifiably annoyed with. Then feel guilty about having those thoughts. The one you are nice to because you know that you really should be. That you force yourself to plaster on a smile for. But every time a call or text or comment appears your nostrils flare and you sigh uncontrollably. So I just don't. Most of the time anyway. And on the rare occasion that I do I tend to self sabotage, turning myself into that person by focusing so hard on not being her. Don't spill the milk, right?

   See! This notion has had a lot of time to develop into a full fledged delusion. Or reality. Honestly, I can't quite tell.

   The thing is that I don't know how to initiate friendships outside of circumstances that include forced interaction like school or work, where relationships sprout organically. That doesn't happen much for introverted stay-at-home-mom's who when given the choice would stay in and read a book over attending a social event.... but the lack of an  invitation still stings. To the core. It's a paradox of sorts. That I get overwhelmed by too much interaction and experience sometimes extreme anxiety over the prospect of reaching out in social situations, but at the same time I absolutely thrive on conversation and connection with other human beings. Particularly ones at least somewhat close in age. (read: babies are fun but the conversational depth is lacking) But my peers are the ones I struggle with connecting to the most. Throughout my life I have always conversed far more easily with those a generation or more my senior. While it has been a great blessing I would like to build some real, honest friendships with people in similar stages in their lives. Hence my resolution. To reach out. To overcome my fear through action. And ultimately, to make some freaking friends. It's about time.

   I have begun already, and already I have experienced some negative setbacks. But! I was vulnerable. I reached out, extended the offer of friendship despite that nagging voice in my head and sinking feeling in my gut. As a result I was also able to purge some unrealistic expectations I had been harboring throughout these past few years and get that out of the way really early on in this "experiment". So in a way, while it was disheartening it was also a relief. A weird weight off my shoulders. A firm "no" where there used to be an uneasy question mark floating around in the back of my mind. On top of that I surprised myself and jumped back in immediately, I made a positive move towards initiating friendship with someone else. The very same day. When everything in me wanted to say "I'll start over tomorrow".

   And now it is tomorrow. Day three of a new year, and today? I have hope. Lots and lots of it.

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