It was so long since she had been anything near the right size that it felt quite strange
I’ve always felt quite alone and I wonder if that’s how everyone feels or if it’s just me who’s not been blessed with whatever receptors in our brains make us feel connected with other humans. I’ve always had a very distinct line of where myself ends and where other people begin. I’ve never felt like part of a “we” or an “us”. I always gave myself boundaries of how much of myself other people were allowed to see or know and the rest was a secret for only me to know. I carefully chose my interactions to reflect the person that I wanted people to think I was. It gave me a sense of control sometimes, but other times it made me feel totally isolated when I longed to feel like a part of something.
I’ve spent so much time keeping my distance from people but feeling betrayed that I never had that best friend that everyone else seemed to have one of. I convinced myself that people wouldn’t want to be friends with me before I gave them a chance to get to know me. I never gave anyone a chance to get close to me. Instead of talking to anyone, I began having a lifelong inner monologue with myself. I can easily drift back into it at any time, tuning out the rest of the world and getting lost in my own head.
Sometimes I forget that it’s myself that put up all these imaginary walls and that they only exist because I choose not to let anyone in. I forget that it’s me keeping myself so alone all the time. Keeping myself in the role of playing a part for the people around me. Confining myself to my comfort zone. Convincing myself that everyone around me was somehow unworthy or, conversely, too cool for me to let my guard down and be myself.
The funny thing is, now that I’ve torn down some of those walls and lowered the amount of letting my insecurities dictate how I behave around people, I seem to like myself a lot more. I see that glimmer of a person that I’ve always wanted to be slip out every once in a while and it seems possible to let go of some of that tension I create. It’s certainly less stressful, but on the other hand, it’s quite scary. I’m terrified to ruin relationships by being who I really am and not becoming whatever it is they want me to be. I’ve spent my whole life trying to please people by pretending to be whatever it was they decided I should be.
There’s something to be said about the idiom of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. I’ve spent a lot of my life in someone else’s shoes, shoes of the fictional person that I created for the outside world. I’m naturally a chronic people pleaser, letting outside influences dictate who I’ve become. I’ve been so hard on myself when my flaws have been pointed out. Been so willing to change myself to be who the important people in my life want me to be. Suppressed doing things I like when they don’t like them.
I know this about myself but I still find it extremely difficult to change and let the façade down. I feel so worthless as a human being sometimes that I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be around me if I don’t find an ample amount of common ground with them. I take the pieces of myself that fit into what they want and I become that person for them but then I get secretly offended when I remind them of someone else. It makes no sense.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to tear my walls all the way down with someone. To voice an opinion without that moment of hesitation hoping that they agree with me or deciding to keep my mouth shut. I’ll probably always retreat into my mind at the end of the day and regret decisions that I’ve made. Play conversations and scenarios over and over again trying to rationalize my submission as genuine desires.
I want so much to be confident and sure of who I am. To feel that someone cares about me even when they know that deep down there I’m a little bit weird and have less than popular opinions about things. That I am a hopeless believer in improbable things and need constant reassurance that who I am is not only okay, but good.
So, I may not fit in those shoes you want me to wear anymore, but my shoes aren’t too shabby. I’ve been trying to wear them out more often but I’m painfully aware of anyone who stares at them and I’ll quickly change to something more neutral until I feel courageous enough to try again.