Sometimes, I can’t believe that it’s been a month since I left the Gulf Coast. It was our home for a total of 4 years and it holds so many memories, so many things I wish I could of packed into boxes and brought with us when we moved. We were married there under a family of strong oak trees, in the shade of their blanket of leaves. We had a church that challenged us to have a deeper relationship with the Lord and a Pastor who walked us through each moment with a sweet, genuine spirit.
And then, there were our friends.
Close friends, best friends, church friends, work friends, good friends.
Friends who were there for our big moments and our low moments and everything in between. Friends who we miss everyday, desperately…
but you won’t be able to tell all of that by looking at my phone records or text messages.
Truth be told, I’m a bad friend.
I will at this point try and offer you up a few excuses, good ones at that.
First and foremost, I am a reclusive introvert that likes to read and write. I spend most of my time in my head, daydreaming or thinking. I am a person that likes my own personal space. Even in marriage, my husband knows when I get a bit cranky, that I just need a few hours alone, in the quiet of my own being, to gather myself and come back to the real world. I have been that way since I was a child. Born into a large, rambunctious Italian family. Any Italians out there know the noise level around those gatherings around the table that go on for hours. In those times, I’d find my Nano’s (grandpa) room off the front of the house, relish in the quiet and read a book, occasionally looking over at the scenes of laughter and shouting coming from the dining room.
Second, I get busy. Isn’t that the excuse above all else? Life gets in the way. A day turns to a week, turns into a month. I’ll call tomorrow turns into feelings of guilt when the day turns and I’ve forgotten, then too ashamed to call late, I give up.
Also, I’m a home body. I LIKE the comfort of my home and the security and peace it brings me. Nothing is better than sitting on the couch, curled up in a blanket with my husband and dog, watching TV or playing a game. I have never been into the bar scene or clubs, even in my college years. For me, I’d just rather stay in.
I can go on and on with the excuses that I spill out when I find myself in situations where I haven’t been the greatest friend, but there is only one reason, one truth that while hard to speak, is the real root of why I find myself always at a distance.
I’m afraid of rejection.
I want to give myself distance from you, my closest friends and my dearest loved ones, because I think there is always a chance that you will leave me. I want to guard my heart from you in case you see me and suddenly realize you’ve made a mistake in choosing me.
A bruise from my childhood not quick to heal, I am always waiting for people to leave. So, in a way, I leave first. I wait for you to call, to prove how much you want me in your life. It’s an unfair balance of affairs, and it’s the reason I have lost so many great people that I once called friends.
The thing is, this isn’t a way to live.
Fear has never added one happy memory or blissfully moment to my life. It’s never had me in stitches laughing, it never was there to comfort me during hard times and it never added a single minute to my life.
Fear, is a destroyer in all aspects of my life, and the more time you give it, the more control you give it.
I want to apologize to so many people, people that I love and adore, that I am and was lucky to call a friend. Thank you for being in my life, for loving me despite my baggage and for simply being my friend. I know I don’t make it easy.
This year so far has been about owning my damages from my past instead of letting them define me. Every day I am taking time to heal, to learn about who I am and what I am about despite by past, and I am so thankful for every moment that I get to move forward.
Thank you all for listening, week after week, and joining me on this journey.
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons by _Libby_