I remember being a little kid.
Surrounded by my group of friends, playing together at recess, hanging out at each others houses after school, going to dance classes, and performing at our schools annual variety show. I look back at those elementary school years and it all seems so picturesque.
I was a confident little girl that pushed her older brother away as he tried to walk me into the auditorium on my first day of Kindergarten (Sorry Michael, I had to establish my cool kid rep you know?). Bottom line, I was confident, carefree, and happy. I couldn’t wait to be older, I thought I had it all figured out.
I was going to work at my dance studio, teach the younger dancers throughout my senior year, I even had the song picked out for my last solo before I left for college. I was going to be on my high schools pom team, be a part of the school’s Rock n’ Roll Revival show, have loads of friends, go on dates, go to parties, you know, that typical high school experience we all dreamed of when we were little.
If you were lucky, that’s the life you got to experience, for me it wasn’t that simple.
We moved around a lot when I was growing up. From Maryland, to North Carolina, to Georgia, before landing here in California. All my old friends thought it was so cool that I had moved to California and at first I thought it was going to be cool too.
Until school started.
My brother seemed to make friends no problem, but I guess that’s what happens when you play football. What about me though? I was the little 6th grader that knew no one and had no activities. It was harder for me but I managed to make a few friends. They didn’t really last but I guess that’s on both parts.
One thing that never changed though was the way I thought about the future. Every time things got harder or I lost more “friends” I would just say “Gosh, I can’t wait until I’m older. Things will get better and I’ll have my friends”. However, the older I got…the more alone I got.
Being just two weeks away from turning 20, I’m still struggling with how lonely I was for years. I still struggle with being alone and the fear that I always will be alone; I struggle with these fears so much that I let it get in the way of new friendships and relationships.
It’s like I’ve built my walls up so high that I can’t even break them down. No matter how much I want to rip those walls apart and be myself again, It’s hard. The last few times I let my walls down for someone, they hurt me so badly that I was forced to shield myself completely from everyone else. It’s not fair to the new people that come into my life, but it’s something I subconsciously do.
Even with the new friendships I’ve started making through work or what not, the hurt I felt in the past makes it hard to let my walls come down all the way. My head and my fears get in the way of me letting go, and finally being that carefree, confident, crazy girl I once was.
The older I get though, the more I realize that keeping my walls up isn’t going to do anything but hurt me more. I’m finally ready to stop pushing people away, let my guard down, and reintroduce myself to that kindergartener that pushed her brother away (so hard that he fell over might I add…again, sorry Michael!) and confidently walked into the school gym, ready to take on the world.
It may be hard to get there, but I want to be that girl again one day.
No matter what it takes, I will be that girl again.