Do you ever have those moments when you forget you’re an adult and still feel inside like you are six years old? I am not talking about wanting to eat out of the frosting container with a spoon or to make up soap opera’s with your stuffed animals, though sometimes I want to do that too.
I am talking about feeling tiny and extremely awkward, like you are the last person in your class to go through puberty. Like you haven’t figured out how to grow up yet. Like you stop in the middle of signing tax forms or picking out shower curtains and say,
“Wait… I am a grown woman…?”
For me it happens the most in social situations. I spent a lot of time avoiding them. Certain people might be surprised by that statement. If you really know me, you won’t be at all. In certain situations I have forced myself to be friendly and outgoing, but it can be very painful and frightening. Sometimes I just don’t know what to say.
So I shut off. Or run away, mostly.
Sometimes I fear I come off as being a snob. I’ve had people who later became my friend nicely say they thought I thought I was too good for them. 90% of the time it was really because I am insecure and don’t know how to make friends. If I get the slightest vibe that someone may not like me I back off immediately. Even if you are friendly, it takes a lot sometimes for me to let you into my inner world. I am very much an all or nothing person with relationships. I have this wall I guess, and you are either in or you’re not. Once you’re in, there is nothing to hold me back from telling you everything. I guess it is a strength as well as a weakness.
If you have known me for more than a few years, you will also know how far I’ve come. I spent my childhood not talking to anyone. This is not a cute exaggeration. I literally was too afraid to talk to grown-ups as well as a lot of kids. I wouldn’t even answer the phone, because I didn’t know who it was.
I am thankful for friends in my life who have helped pull me out of my shell and for Jesus for freeing me from the fear the choked the life out of my for so long.
Anyways, I am not trying to make this post all about me and my weird social habits. I am just trying to say that,
I need people. Really. Not just one or two, but a whole community of people that come from different places in life and may see the world opposite then I do. As much as it’s easy to write that, it’s another story to live it. I know the word “Community” has been thrown around a lot especially in Christian circles.
As an introvert, I don’t always feel the need for people. More then often, it’s the need to be alone that overwhelms me and makes me feel like an insane person until I have some solace. I need to be with myself and write to figure out life. I forget that often the same thing can happen in an open honest conversation with someone. I forget I need people.
I put this picture on my bathroom mirror to remind me every day that I am not an island. I need to engage with people and truly see them. Those moments that I do, it’s really like choosing life. It’s choosing to see God in people. I can’t survive without it.
I know this is nothing profound. But often I forget to live like it’s true. I forget that I actually need you. That life is about people.
Taking care of people.
Letting people love and take care of me.
Experiencing God through our interactions.
Through a hand, a glass of water, a washcloth, a smile, a hug.
Thanks for listening to my rant on Friday the 13th. I needed someone to listen.