I like to think of myself as tough. A diamond in the rough, an uncut rose surrounded by thorns, a bear who makes it on his own. I like to pretend that I can’t be hurt, that nothing gets to me, that I’ve seen it all, done it all, got the t-shirt, and threw it away. It’s not true. The truth is that I’m pretty easy to hurt. All my prickles are to keep people away, to keep people from hurting me, because every time I let someone in, that’s what happens. It’s easier when nothing matters, when you don’t care, don’t feel… not better, just easier. Me… I still have the boutonniere that I had to wear as a groomsman in my best friend’s wedding in college. I still have a little blue plastic bear that a ten year old girl I was babysitting gave me when we opened up stupid little quarter toys and mine was empty. That bear’s lost most of it’s color now, and I’m pretty sure that ten year old girl has graduated college. Things like that mean something to me because the people involved mean something to me.
So, I do my best to pretend to be this angry old grump that can’t be phased by anything, when really I feel it all. Every word, every sneer, every back turned, every hair-flipping snide remark. I am so very fragile, so easy to hurt, and honestly I think that… hope that most of the people who hurt me never know it. I know they didn’t mean it, at least most of the time I do, and so it gets swept under the rug, forgiven and forgotten, and I never see it again. Well, most of the time that’s what happens.
Every now and then it all comes bubbling to the surface and I do something stupid, usually when someone does something that is truly, deeply painful. I try to love like 1st Corinthians 13. I fail… a lot, but I try, and I hope that I get at least a little credit for that. Ultimately, though, I think I’m pretty easy to forget. I’m not really sure why that is, but people seem to be very able to forget that I exist entirely and that hurts even more.
I love investing in people’s lives. Taking a guy, or a girl, and working with him/her, often for years. Watching him/her become something more than what he/she was to begin with. Watching them, and hopefully helping them, grow in their Christian walks, in their relationships with God, and then sending them off to whatever he has for them next. I usually never hear from them again.
So, I guess, sometimes all I want if for someone to care enough to remember me. To reach out to me, and to love me. Of course, the people who do I usually slap away because I don’t want to get hurt, and that just creates a further cycle of alienation. All in all, to be completely honest, I think I tend to be pretty bad at life. Sometimes I wish I could be someone else. Someone better. Sometimes I realize that’s stupid, that God made me the way he has for a reason, and that he’s going to continue working with me until he’s finished. Sometimes I just want to throw it all in, and sometimes I convince myself to work harder, and sometimes I try new things.
I just started this program called ‘happify’ that’s supposed to make you a happier person. I have to admit that the first few activities have already put me in a better mood, so what the heck, right? Anyway, be thankful, and don’t beat yourself up about every little thing. Don’t expect anyone else to give you slack, but give yourself some.