My track record with accepting a compliment of any kind is not a great one. In the past few years, I’ve learned to be more gracious instead of countering every positive feedback with my own self-deprecating comments. I’ve grown up a lot, learned to accept my past, and try to let go of regrets best I can. I came up with the idea for this post a few weeks ago, when my insecurities came to the surface and manifested themselves into jealousy. I mean, the really ugly kind of jealousy. It was hard for me to accept and own up to it, but I did.
I’ve been sitting on this blog post for a while and I almost didn’t write it because I’m still processing everything. All of my insecurities, the events of the past year that fueled the fire and the unfamiliar territory of being surrounded by people who genuinely care about me, neurotic tendencies and all. I have never fully fit in anywhere in my life. Not with family, friends, or even work environments.
I began thinking about this post again this morning and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the real ugly truth is even scarier than my insecurities. It’s something that I never expected would happen, even though I have a pretty cynical past. The thing that you should know about me, if you haven’t picked up on it already, is that I don’t give up on people. I don’t give up hope. I give second chances. I forgive. I try to forget the pain. I rationalize their horrible behavior by making excuses for them. I forgive. I get hurt. I blame myself.
But I never give up on people. I open up my life and heart, because I believe that everyone deserves a chance.
We all get hurt by someone we love. We have friends who outgrow us, or we outgrow them. We’re misunderstood. We’re blamed for things that aren’t our fault. My experiences aren’t unique by any means. We diminish our own feelings because we feel guilty for being happy.
This past year, I was knocked on my ass, emotionally, by the end of a friendship I thought would last forever. I blamed myself. I tried to explain myself and apologized for something that wasn’t my fault. I was accused of things that had never come up before and I began reevaluating every single relationship in my life. My heart was shattered and I thought the friendship could still be salvaged. Because 8 years of friendship isn’t something you walk away from, is it? I couldn’t give up hope.
Until I did.
But this just threw fuel to the insecurity fire. I began feeling undeserving of any kind of positive interaction in my life. I am lucky that the Universe brought specific people into my life this past summer who accepted me right away – ugly insecurities and all.
You guys, my real ugly truth isn’t that I’m insecure or I’m prone to insane jealousy. My ugly truth is that I came very close to giving up on other people. I came close to giving up hope. I almost closed off my heart for good. Not just “I’m a teenager and I’m cynical because ugh, angst” but Why even try to be a positive force in another person’s life?
The girl who smiles at strangers in the street because they might be having a bad day almost gave up on wanting to make a difference in the world.
To be honest, that scares the hell out of me. So I made a promise to myself.
I refuse to let anyone make me feel so powerless that they put cracks in the foundations of who I am. No one deserves that kind of power over another person.