I was the kid in junior high that sat by herself and read a book at lunch and I was completely fine with that.
I had friends that I hung out with in high school, girls who were in the same AP classes as me and my after school time was taken up in the little theater rehearsing for whatever play was going on at the time. The people I still keep in touch with are those ones, the ones who I spent hours at a time with painting sets and rehearsing lines.
I moved away for college and made friends there. I chose to be a little more outgoing. I was in choir so I was plopped right into a group of 50 women who I wandered southern California with on weekends. I lived with 3 other women who I laughed, danced and with whom I made seemingly bad decisions.
What I am trying to say is I have always HAD friends.
The last two years have been community on high. I participated in an 11 month mission trip where day in and day out I was with the same people. Then I went to a 6 month leadership academy in Spain where I lived in a house with other interns and sat around a dinner table every night.
And it was those moments, those ones where I had to live in these communities where I realized something about most of the friendships I’ve had in my life:
I don’t always 100% believe that I am someone’s first choice. That I would be anyone’s first phone call. And because of that I hold friends at an arms length. I don’t expect anything from people.
There is a small group of people who I do believe, now, that I am the first choice.
But I don’t go into most friendships believing that. I don’t go into friendships believing that I me, in who I am, is enough. That I don’t need to do some tricks to get someone to like me.
And isn’t it that feeling that makes us post the pretty, filtered pictured on instagram, or edit statuses until they are just perfect explaining the best of our days?
I’m not saying to post depressing things or “my life is the worst” statuses like when were teenagers and had instant message and would make roses out of an @ sign.
What I am saying is we need to stop believing that we have to wrap ourselves in pretty pink paper. Something Shauna Niequist says in her book Bittersweet hits home for me.
“I’ve spent most of my life and most of my friendships holding my breath and hoping that when people get close enough they won’t leave, and fearing that it’s a matter of time before they figure me out and go.”
That’s how I’ve felt a lot of my life. That I wasn’t enough. That I didn’t merit the first phone call. That I’m not a first choice.
And that is a sucky way to live.
We need to choose not to live that way. This isn’t about comparison or something that someone else is doing. This is me, and my perception about other’s action.
And the knowledge that I am not going to be everyone’s first choice, but I am on a handful of people’s speed dials.
It comes down to the realization that I don’t need to be liked by everyone. It comes down to being myself and knowing that as long as I am that it is enough.
We need to stop believing that we need to be something other than who we are. It’s something I’m obviously still working out and walking through and figuring out what to do when the lies hit.
And thankful, I have those friends to remind me who I am when I forget.