I don’t know if this is something someone blogs about. I don’t know if it’s too personal, too weird; something people will look at just to snort irritatedly and look away, or to subsequently stick a label on me. But I started this blog with the intention of communication. I want to be able to share my experiences so that maybe, someone can relate. So that hopefully there some feeling of belonging between people no matter who they are.
And so here I am, labeling myself in the title of this post and then wondering if others will put labels on me in turn. To be fair, I did do it first, so I can’t entirely say much to each and every person that forms a judgement after reading this.
All I’ve truly sought for in my life is love. Love and its subsidiary, acceptance. I want more than anything for the people that I love to love me as much as I do them. It can be difficult when I have an image in my mind that I’ve created, and when something doesn’t abide by that image, especially when that image is the fantasy that the care I have for others is reciprocated.
I use the word fantasy because I would daydream about this all of the time. I wanted praise from my favorite teachers, I wanted people to be my friend as much as I wanted to be theirs because for much of my life my circle has been incredibly small. And I tried so hard to set these fantasies into motion, to make them reality, that I became, and still can be, the person that I think people want me to be.
Academics is only a singular example of the validation that I sought. I tried. I tried so hard, I tried to make the teachers like me by always giving more than what they asked for. In fifth grade I spent the entirety of recess adding to the free response portion of a chemistry-based science test we had been taking in the prior period. I wrote everything I could think of, connecting my facts in what I thought was brilliant fashion, thinking my teacher would love it. Instead, she irritatedly asked me to finish many times as I fact vomited onto that test for all of recess and the next five minutes of the class afterwards. It felt like someone had dumped water on my head; I had produced my absolute best in an effort to impress her and was met with indifference. In sixth grade, I gave my English teachers stories that I had written. She didn’t care, and so from that point on? I haven’t written creatively in six years.
Other examples? Friends. I spent all of middle school trying to impress one group of people in the hopes of being accepted. I bought the same clothes, the same lunchbox, begged my mom to buy the same food from the grocery store. I was rejected sometimes subtly, other times not as much; I remember some girls sneaking onto a bus, so that I wouldn’t know they were hanging out after school. I found solace in the very foods I asked my mom to buy me and put down bagels and pop-tarts as quickly as I could sneak them into my room. I just wanted them to like me.
I was blessed to become very close with someone I loved unconditionally in my high school years. This was the love that I’d always wanted. But I changed, again, like I always do, without even thinking about it, because all I wanted, and all I want, is to love.
Every person on the Internet and in real life would tell me that I first need to love myself. That’s beautiful in thought when in reality it feels like the equivalent to being told to draft the solution to world peace. There isn’t anything about myself that I haven’t once questioned, my body, my face, my mind, and there have been countless times where I have sunk into something deep, dark, and scary while I was too overwhelmed by it. It’s safe to say that from where I am standing in this moment, it’s hard to catch glimpses of sunlight.
I’ve messed up friendships, I’ve messed up relationships. I have done a lot wrong in my 18 years, and I have accepted myself to be what it is that others love. That’s all I’ve wanted to be, and it’s my biggest insecurity. And in this, I’ve let that insecurity lose friends and more because I have never been strong enough. To be my damn self. Only that I don’t know who that is. And there are so many things I wish I had done so very differently.
There you go. I don’t know what I sought out to accomplish by writing this, or if I should really post it because I have a little voice in the back of my head reminding me about appearances. About strength, happiness, having friends, feeling like you belong; when in reality, I have very little of each of those things.
I don’t quite see the way out of this mess in my head, but I’m hoping, to any God, that there is one. I want to be me, and I want to feel free, without feeling like a shriveled, dehydrated version of the person that I am supposed to be.
I’m sorry if any of you didn’t enjoy this or thought it was weird, pathetic, or anything else. That’s the people pleaser in me hoping that uploading this is the right thing. But I’m not sorry for sharing it. That’s something I want. I think. I desperately hope.
And to anyone that has any kind of battle with insecurity, you’re wonderful. I know you are.
Thank you for reading,