The More Things Change, the More they Stay the Same

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I’m back again – much sooner than I would have thought I’d be. I’ve really just been thinking over something that happened earlier this week (or last weekend if I’m technical) and pondering life & how things work. How people work & why they act a certain way. I’ll be honest, I’m writing this because my feelings were hurt & I’m just not sure how to think about the situation without feeling hurt. I’ve tried to tell myself that at 27 I shouldn’t let things bother me the way they used to…but while I can tell my head that, it doesn’t stop my heart from being wounded. I really feel like I’ve got to get this off my chest,but I don’t want to hurt anyone else in the process – not that the people who caused this hurt read this; I don’t know that. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Anyway, sorry  that this post isn’t exactly warm & fuzzy.

High school – while it was fun, there was always that sense of not quite fitting in; or maybe to put it more bluntly, being left out. I’m not sure why that happened: maybe because I dated a guy seriously for over a year & devoted a lot of my free time to that relationship, maybe because I wasn’t willing to participate in the things other people were willing to do…of course, there was always that maybe that stood out most – maybe they just don’t like me. I’m sure anyone else in my boat can tell you, even if you are told that isn’t the case again & again…that thought it what is going to stand out in your mind. I know it always did for me. For whatever reason, I just wasn’t ever included in things & I’ll admit that has obviously left some scars. I don’t think a person can really ever forget feeling like they aren’t wanted/just aren’t good enough. You can try to push it away, but somehow that feeling just clings to you. It certainly caused me to become more introverted than I already was – because if the people that claim to be my friends don’t like me enough to include me, why would anyone else want to?

High School Natalie – not as confident as I look.

I suppose that somewhere deep down, I assume that people start to grow up. Excluding other people seems silly when you’re an adult. When my parents moved to Virginia; well, I’d been saying for a couple years that I wanted nothing more than to move & get away from all the people that I grew up with. It seemed obvious that I wasn’t ever really going to be enough for them & I wanted to just start a new life away from all that. I should interject & say this was after I’d moved back home from college at USM – where I had made wonderful friends that I love & cherish today…but none of those friends live(d) in the Meridian area & it left my weekend plans pretty dead. My parents moving to Virginia seemed like the perfect answer to prayer; I’d just move with them! Sure, I’d be leaving behind my closest friends, but there was a chance to start over & not be the girl that had been excluded in high school. The people in Virginia wouldn’t know me or the reason I tended to be introverted. It was the greatest plan – except that every time I prayed about it, the Lord told me that I needed to stay put. I was confused, but I’ve tried to walk outside God’s will for me before & it didn’t work out too well, so I put down roots in the place I’d lived for the past 24 years & struck out on my own.
I started to be around those friends from high school again – at church. Granted, we weren’t in the same Sunday School class since they are all married & most have children. Again, I don’t have certain things in common with them at another stage in life but I begin to assure myself that because we are all grown up, things will be different. Exclusion is for kids, for teenagers who don’t realize the damage that leaving others out can inflict. I remember excitedly telling my Mom after a Christmas party that one of them had mentioned us all getting together to eat one day during Christmas break; I told my Mom that maybe this was part of the reason why the Lord had me stay in Collinsville – he was going to restore those friendships that had been broken. Imagine my surprise when the lunch over Christmas break happened, but I was conveniently forgotten. Surely this wasn’t going to happen all over again? We are adults now – we don’t act like this, right? Apparently we do though. I try to ignore things like this – but then there are instances like this past Sunday when they all make lunch plans – and do this mere inches away from me, having to know that I can hear them…but never with a thought that I might have any interest in being included. Just like that – those feelings come rushing back. I wasn’t good enough in high school & I certainly am not good enough now.
I’m good enough to care for their kids, to comment on photos & we will certainly be friends on Facebook but let’s not get ahead of ourselves – I don’t dare begin to think that I might in any way be someone that they’d actually want to include in their actual lives. Silly me. All week I’ve struggled with these feelings – shouldn’t I be old enough to see past this? To realize that same thing my Momma told me over & over as a teenager; it has nothing to do with me & everything to do with them? Somehow it just isn’t that easy. How do you learn to move past this? I feel like I should be beyond letting something like this hurt me, but I feel like what I’m learning is that you are never so old that being excluded doesn’t hurt. I’m struggling to deal with that knowledge this week, struggling with why I’m here on my own & dealing with a situation that I thought was over & done with; struggling with why I couldn’t have just left all of this behind & started over. I know God has a plan somewhere in all of this, but right now it is awfully hard to see the sunshine because of all the clouds. I feel like the only lesson I have learned at this point is that the more things seem to change, the more they stay the same. I’ll keep you posted if I figure it out – but until then, sorry for the less than chipper post but every once in a while I just have to express what I’m really feeling, even if it isn’t so happy. Thoughts?
I’m gonna keep smiling…because there is some kind of plan in this heartache.

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