I have been using the word authentic for quite a while now. Trying to be as real as I can. Some days I feel like I am really great at it, and other days I just want to be who everyone else wants me to be. The past two months have been no exception. I got to a point a couple months ago, where I wasn't sure what I was doing here. I wasn't sure that I was making any difference, or that if I all of a sudden disappeared that anyone would miss me. This blog is going to be self-focused for a bit, so if you are looking for something else I would probably stop reading. I have come to realize that the way we try to get people to feel better about where they are at, is to point out that their situation could be worse. For instance whenever I mention all the things I have to do at work... sometimes people are like... well at least you don't have to do this and this and this like I do. Which doesn't really help the situation I am in, right? It makes me feel like I shouldn't be so stressed out, because my worries aren't as important because I couldn't possibly have as much going on as this other person does.
But to me, the things I am struggling with are very real. They are very important, and in some cases they are very overwhelming. This year I spent my birthday by myself. I pretended like it was okay, but honestly deep down my heart was breaking. It was breaking because I wanted to matter enough for someone to make the effort. I wanted to be more than just a convenience. I wanted to be someone that people wanted to celebrate. So I got depressed. It probably didn't help that I had a situation happen that made me feel like just someone that could be used.
It has been a journey, and I wish I could say that I am seeing things so clearly, and that everyday I wake up with contentment and understanding of my role in this life. But I don't. There are mornings that I do. I have a couple people in my life right now, that truly are helping me to know what true friendship is and it is refreshing and so very helpful. But we are all flawed. We all get things wrong, and struggle to be there for other people. At the end of the day though, we have to be true to who we are. We have to figure out what we believe the truth is and live it.
I tried something for a little while, and I thought it would make me happy, but it didn't. Instead it just created this awful emptiness in me that probably led to the past couple months of hurt and pain, and feeling like I was disposable. No matter what none of us are disposable. No matter how many friends, or lovers leave us... we are not disposable. It is so easy to feel that way, when you are replaced by someone else. When the friends that you used to connect with on a daily or weekly basis are no longer texting or calling or connecting. It is easy to question if you ever really mattered.
But we have to each believe that we do. Even if for a little while we are just walking through the motions. In this life we all come across people that we want to be in our lives forever. Sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren't. The amount of people that have left my life is hard to take in, because I don't like to lose people. I want to keep everyone in my sphere of friendship. I want to stay connected, and never do anything that messes that connection up. But sometimes connections get lost. Sometimes we have to let go, and know that maybe one day we will be able to cross paths again. It doesn't mean that there is anything wrong, it just means that sometimes friendships/relationships have to breathe out and then breathe in again.
I won't ever stop being authentic, but just like the journey of life my authenticness changes and grows as I walk the road. I am able to be more of myself around certain people. I am able to show just a little more of myself when I feel like the walls can come down without crumbling. But it's okay for the walls to stay up for awhile, or go back up after coming back down. We don't have to let everyone in. Sometimes people only get a part of us. We love them with all we have, but they don't get to damage us, and throw us away. I'm learning this more and more. I think the past 2 months, I have reached great strides in this area. In the past I would have let a certain situation that I was in about a month ago damage me, and put me in a depression for awhile. I wouldn't have spoken the truth to this person, I would have just taken the blame for something that didn't work out. This time though, I spoke up for myself. I called them on the lie that they told me, and I lost a friend.
Some might say that if the person was able to be lost, then they weren't a friend to begin with. Maybe that's true, but also maybe they just don't know how to be a friend. Maybe they just thought that it would be okay to treat me the way they did, and I would just take it. The thing is that I am gaining my voice. I am learning that I don't have to be so nice to everyone. People that have hurt me more than once, and then want back into my inner circle. Sorry, but you don't get to be that kind of friend with me. The minute you can throw my friendship away twice, is when I decide not to allow a third time. I will pursue your friendship always, unless you show me that you no longer care, and then I will choose to be done.
So for me right now living authentically means that I am being careful of who I trust. I am not going out of my way to spend time with people that don't want to have anything to do with me, except when it benefits them. I am looking for those that want to be there for me no matter how many mistakes I make. No matter how very crazy I can be. I want to know that I am loved, and love in return. I won't compete with you, and I sure will not allow you to tell me that your life is harder than mine. We are all doing the best that we can, and we all go through different seasons of struggles. The best we can do is understand where someone is coming from, listen to them talk about the struggles, and stand beside them through it. I hope that's what people see of my life. Every day I am reaching for it more and more. Because we all struggle to belong and be accepted. The best we can do, is help each other through that journey.