books, God and growing up.
books used to be my only friend.
but in all seriousness. in elementary school, i did not have one friend. i never went to a sleepover. i was rarely invited to birthday parties. the neighborhood kids would sneak past my house to get to their friends because they didn't want to hang out with me, and i would watch them from my bedroom window and cry. someone once put smashed eggs in my mailbox. i'm not exaggerating, sadly. at school, i talked to no one because i was so shy and strange. my mother told me later that she would cry sometimes because she couldn't figure me out. "she's nothing like me, i don't know how to get her out of her shell," she'd say. i hated playing games, having people sing happy birthday to me, talking to people in general. i know it sounds sad, and it was--i'm not asking for a pity party, i'm just telling the truth.
so i had books. i would read on the bus, in between classes, at recess, at home. i would come home crying almost every day from school (kids sure are mean) and my mother would hug me and tell me that i was beautiful and smart and kind. we would talk for hours as she made dinner and then i would run up to my room and pull out my Bible and spend the next few hours listening to worship songs and talking to God. literally, talking. many times out loud, just the most normal conversation two best friends could have. i had two journals: one was for recording my favorite Bible verses, the other for writing letters to Jesus. those were usually the happiest hours of my day. just knowing that God was there for me always....my innocence and trust in Him was so strong then.
but we all grow up and grow into ourselves and grow into different people who aren't ourselves sometimes, too. these people we become, they come and go like the seasons; we cast them off in exchange for the next best thing. we become the people we associate with, the ideas and thoughts our peers accept, the parties we attend, the gossip we engage in.
they say knowledge is power, but sometimes, knowledge is sorrow.
becoming an adult has been hard work. it is for everyone. but you get to a point where you truly want to just be yourself--you know you can and you try try try. over again, so many times. you make promises with yourself. promises that sometimes go unfulfilled. promises that are broken unconsciously. you sacrifice and compromise and lose sight of the point of this life.
i've gotten to the point where i've shed the person i wasn't. all the persons i wasn't, over the years--even aspects of that shy, sad little girl i once was. while i long for the relationship i shared with God, i know that the fear i held back then was not me. and for the past year, i've been on the real road to becoming myself. you never truly find yourself, i don't think, but sometimes you get to a high point in the journey where you feel like anything is possible.
then why is it so hard to be patient, kind and selfless? why is it so hard to be conscious of ourselves? maybe we'll never know. we're constantly asking for more and more of things--more money, more clothes, more time, more energy. for myself, i've been asking for truth in the form of friends for a long, long time. but then i realized that i am asking for the wrong thing.
there are things we do need more of, but we rarely ask. we need more kindness, more selflessness, more patience, more understanding, more acceptance, more love. but i find myself constantly asking God for more selfish desires rather than thanking Him for the blessings He's already provided in my life, the blessings i have no reason to deserve. honestly, how can i even ask for the selfish, grasping desires of my aching heart when i don't even deserve the beautiful miracles God has given me?
so this is my goal: my goal for the end of this year. and for next year. i am going to teach myself to cultivate patience. and selflessness. and kindness. i am going to stop asking God for that one soulmate of a best girlfriend, more money to make this blog a bigger success, and more time to pursue my wedding passion, and i'm going to start thanking him for giving me the opportunities i have, the love i have in the form of family and Eric, and the time i do have, right now.
i'm going to read for myself again. i'm going to take more responsibility for my actions. i'm going to stop trying to be right all the time and try to allow God's love to shine through me, in all that i do. i'm not that self-centered, fake person i was almost two years ago, and i'm not that shy, bookish, scared little girl anymore either, that's true. but somewhere inside of that little girl, was me. somewhere inside of this twenty-something woman, is me, too. i am happy with my life--and i should be striving every day to be the best person i possibly can to show it.
(this is an extremely personal post, and i do so hope you will respect my vulnerability when reading and/or commenting. it took a lot of guts to write this. thank you.)