May 12, 2006

The girl who has everything

Have you ever had someone tell you that your life was perfect? Did you want to laugh at them? I have been going through my junk lately - mostly stuff I kept because as my childhood was very transient and I needed to hold on to tangible things to remind me that my life really did happen the way I remember it. That sounds strange - and I'm pretty sure I am launching into a post I didn't mean to - but we'll see where this goes. I kept letters, cards, notes, pictures, stuff in general because if I didn't have it there was no link to the life I'd left behind in the various states and towns or the people who had left me when they moved on to a new place or new friends. I don't remember what movie it was - but I think it had Susan Sarandon in it - where she says we all need a witness to our lives - someone who will walk along side us and be that witness. My childhood in many ways lacked a witness outside of the stuff I kept. I have come to understand that this is probably a good thing. And as the clutter is about to drive me insane - I have been purging like crazy - throwing things away left and right! It feels so freeing.

Getting back to my main purpose here - in my purging I came across a birthday card I received in 11th grade from a friend of mine. It read - "what do you get the girl who has everything? Since we couldn't get you a date with *** (names withheld to protect the not-so-innocent, namely me - that and they only put his jersey number on there anyway) this card will have to do." I remember getting that card. Opening it and reading it and trying to quickly choose the correct reaction - I went with laughing because I'm pretty sure crying would have embarrassed the me and hurt the giver. But at 16 I was far from a "girl who has everything" - and I remember thinking that apparently my friends didn't even know me well enough to know that.

I think this was the first time I realized that not sharing my heart and thoughts with others didn't really mean I was sparing them from the boring details and random wanderings of my mind, but that I was actually preventing them from know who I was and what really makes me tick. It's funny because I don't think many of the people I know would categorize me as shy, but in many ways I am. It has always been hard for me to talk to people I don't know; to open up to people; to trust - but I know that God has called me to build relationships with people and so I must go outside myself and reach out by sharing what's inside. And yet I never cease to be amazed when people say "thanks for sharing - I always thought your life was so ________ (perfect, happy, etc). Not sure what makes people think that. Because I definitely wouldn't consider it so; but then I guess we all make assumptions about each other and the lives we lead. (note to self - don't do this to other people :-) )

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