You, it’s always about you

You never know when you might feel an odd pang of regret.

You can be minding your own business when you suddenly realize how self-conscious and self-centered you were as a college student.  You wonder why you didn’t ask better questions and get to know a wider array of people when you had the chance.  Instead, you just worried that your hair was too frizzy and that your stomach was too fat and that no one would ever actually want to marry you.

You look around and see how few friends you’ve accumulated while settled on this patch of land and you realize you must have done something wrong, terribly, terribly wrong.  Are you still so cocooned in your own little world that you have failed to reach out to other people?  Do you repel people?  Do you smell?  What, exactly, could be wrong with you?  Is it your breath?

You reach a particular age and you realize that some doors have closed behind you.  In fact, they have clanged with the finality of prison bars, locking you out.  And even though you wanted to be where you are, you’re kind of bummed that you can’t retrace your steps and choose a different sort of life.  Why didn’t you become a nurse when you had the chance?  What stopped you from going to a better college?

You’re too old, too old, too old says the chant in your head.

You wonder about your dad and wish you’d known him as a person instead of as an obstacle to elude and an authority to avoid.  You were always so scared in a vague sort of undefined way.  What frightened you?  If only you’d been braver and spoken up when you had the chance.  If only you’d known how to ask better questions and been brave enough to hear the answers.

You remember the diary you kept were you in second grade.  It was a five-year diary, which is an impossible block of time to comprehend when you are eight.  You can’ t believe you burned it when you were eighteen, afraid that someone would laugh at the scrawled thoughts of your eight-year old self.  You were embarrassed about being childlike, even when you were a child.  You still cringe at reminders of your childhood actions.

You’re still scared but without good reason.  You’re still that eight year old girl underneath it all.  You still worry that no one will sit with you in the cafeteria.

You wish you were outward facing instead of inward focused.

That would change your perspective and your life.

You know it’s true.

7 Responses to “You, it’s always about you”

  1. MissKris November 4, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    People assume – wrongly – that I have hundreds of friends. I have hundreds of acquaintances but only a small core of what I would describe as true friends and most of them come from my childhood/young adulthood. My daughter tells me I give off a very friendly vibe upon meeting people but, with that said, I don’t give the impression that I want to take it any further. Yet, complete strangers will open up to me and tell me their life stories. I don’t ‘do’ confidences in return. I am very guarded that way. This is a conundrum to me. I used to waste endless hours and energy worrying about it like a dog with a bone. And then I finally came to the realization that I am who I am and accepted myself for who I am. God made each of us unique. We see and know our inner turmoils but the outside world doesn’t unless we open up and let them in. Honestly, in retrospect, there have been a lot of experiences I wouldn’t share with the world for anything. I have enough social contact to keep me content. I used to yearn for more but at this stage of the game I really don’t think I’m going to change much, if at all. And, again in all honesty, crowds make me anxious. Large gatherings of people do too. My little corner I’ve created really does suit my needs.

  2. Peggy November 4, 2010 at 5:25 am #

    Ugh, I see so much of myself in what you wrote. Even now at the age of 45. I desperately desire friends, yet I don’t have many. I live in a rural area (2 years now) and although I know a lot of church friends and aquaintences, I have one close friend. I have had people tell me that I am stand-offish and somewhat stuck up when they meet me and then later (if they give me the chance) they find out I’m really a very nice and warm person. I’ve tried very hard to recitfy this. In fact,I go out of my way (pushing what isn’t normal to me) to try to be warm and outgoing. God has made me somewhat of a quiet person… I’ve had people that know me mention that my still waters run deep… I know I have a long way to go. I sure wish I could attendon class on friend making! I know it sounds crazy, but SO many times I wished there was such a thing! Thanks for this blog. Hugs

  3. BJ November 4, 2010 at 6:13 am #

    Wow! Melodee, I am always amazed at how closely your thoughts and feeling reflect where I’ve been. Right down to the whole thought about why didn’t I train to be a nurse when I had the chance….You express what I am avoiding. It’s healing in it’s own way, just so you know. That I’m not alone in feeling and thinking these things. Thank you, again, for your honesty. I don’t comment nearly enough and tell you that you bless me through your words. Even the bare-naked truth.

  4. karen November 4, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    So often I read your blog and think “she’s my voice.” You find the words to say what I’m feeling. Thank you for helping me feel that I’m not such an oddball:)

  5. Tom November 4, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    And in addition to the past ones, I like to mortgage future regrets as well: wonder what I’ll regret when I’m 70 or 80, assuming I live so long. What am I doing or not doing now that I’ll wish I’d done differently then?

    I didn’t burn my journals but I have come close. I still cringe when I think of dumb things I did and said as a child, and sigh inwardly when I see my own son do those same things.

    I think we’re way harder on ourselves than anyone else could ever be.

  6. Krys Rockwood November 4, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    I wish we would have been friends when we were younger! I remember you well from school but I think we were both so shy that we never reached out. I’m so glad to know you now & that you share with us on your blog! :-)

  7. Jenna November 5, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    I read a quote recently that said, “It is vital that we do not judge our past behaviors by our current level of knowledge and experience.”

    Easier said than done. I have been thinking similar things recently, feeling embarrassed or ashamed of things I did as a teen. Like, why did I let the phone ring over 40 times at the house of a boy I liked? Did he know I did that? Did he answer just because the phone wouldn’t stop ringing, or had he just walked into the house?

    Or, why did I tell that girl that she couldn’t be in our group for the girls choice date dance? Why did I shun her? My friends and I already weren’t popular, what would it have mattered if we had shown some compassion and included someone even less popular?

    Or, why was I so cruel and so merciless in my comments about the friend of a friend who got pregnant in high school? Why was I so judgmental? Why wasn’t I more Christ-like?

    I guess the biggest lessons for me out of all of this is to course correct now. To be kinder, more thoughtful, and less judgmental. And I need to be more gentle with myself. I was young. I thought I knew everything. If (rather, as) my children make similar mistakes, I would be gentle with them. I would say things like, when you know better you can do better. I need to be as kind to me as I am with them.

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