Here's to Finding Ourselves.

continued...

A couple years ago, mostly before I underwent my emotional crap ('scuse my language), I attended a Christmas party with a group of friends. Honestly, I didn't know most of the people there. But that didn't matter. From the moment I walked in, I was confident. I laughed, giggled, and even screamed, as the moment required. I hadn't labored over what I was going to wear - I'd simply chosen an outfit in a matter of minutes. If even that long. I knew who I was as a person, and I wasn't going to let go of that.

At the party, I remember sitting down at a table with a group of girls. Most of them, I hadn't ever talked to before. But immediately, I felt at home. I had everyone laughing constantly. I downed three slices of pizza, without apology. Hyper and happy, the party progressed perfectly. By the end of the night, I'd made a lot of new friends. And the truth was...I honestly believed they liked me. As I left, I gave everyone a hug.

Let's jump ahead to the next year. The same group of girls was invited to the same Christmas party. But this year was different. Within 365 days, I had changed completely.

I spent ages, agonizing over what I was going to wear. I spent an obscene amount of time and hairspray to make sure that my hair was just so (though I was still dissatisfied with the outcome). I got to the party.

And immediately wanted to run back out.

The entire evening, I was silent. I only spoke when spoken to. I ate very little, because I was so nervous. I hardly laughed. When we played various games, I almost cried, because I was so terrified of losing. At that point, losing a game = failing. And failing = imperfection. Anyways. I almost didn't even color a picture with the rest of the girls, because I was so insecure in my artistic abilities. When it was time to go home, I was relieved, because I was so trapped in the "nobody likes me" mindset.

There's an example of what I mean. I used to be totally different. Crazy how twelve months can so completely change a personality!

AND I WANT THE REAL ME BACK! Where on earth did I go?!?!?! Who stole me? Have I done this to myself?

Lately, though, as I pursue freedom, I have been finding snippets of myself, hidden among the ashes. A couple nights ago, I laughed a true laugh for the first time in months. I danced, something I've rarely done since the move. And as I wrote this, I listened to one of the songs that I usually don't let myself listen to.

If you're like me - if you've somehow lost yourself over the years and are trying to get yourself back - I want to declare a toast. Come on, raise that pretend goblet and clink it against mine.

Here's to those happy childhood days. Here's to becoming who God made us to be. Here's to finding ourselves.

The End

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