I've always been a little skittish around people. Growing up I never really had a ton a friends and the ones that I did have were a lot like me, hanging out in the background of popularity, content to live in the shadows. There were a few reasons for this, but mostly it all falls back on myself and my own self conciseness, or rather lack there of.
As a result of being content to live that way when I was younger, I never had to opportunity to learn how to approach people and make friends easily. I'm the awkward, shy girl. I'm the girl who isn't comfortable in her own skin when I'm around people whom I don't know on a personal level. I go through the motions that I see others do, but my results are always feeble and weak. I'm not a charismatic person and people defiantly do not gravitate towards me. I have a very hard time making friends and finding an equal footing in life.
When I was younger I convinced myself that it was all just a phase and that actually I was the one who was choosing not to be friendly with the masses, when in reality I was crippled by what I later found out was anxiety. Funny how we do that to ourselves, mentally turn the tables in our own favor to make an otherwise shitty situation a little better. I thought as I got older and experienced life more that the shyness and aloof-ness would just fade away and I would magically turn into a confidant woman who just so happens to be a social butterfly. Unfortunately that is not me. Not at all. And now I'm wise enough to not even bother trying to trick myself into making my awkwardness something better than it is. I'm still that standoffish, strange girl that I was when I was a teenager. People don't flock to me, and often times I find myself un-included in things. And it still stings just as much now as it did when I was a little girl.
I hid behind this blog. I know I do. But even here, where I feel free most of the time, I see friends that I've made and friends that I've lost and friends that I've just drifted apart from. There is no separation from my online "life" and my real life, my awkwardness and anxiety seeps into everything that I do, be it physical or digital.
I struggle with this every day. And it's a real and valid struggle. I have a handful of friends left, and more acquaintances than I care to count. I'm bound by my lack of social skills and incapacitated by fear.
I combat it, these things that make up who I am but also who I wish I was not. I battle them all with prayer. I know in my heart that I need to be happy with the person whom God created me to be, and so each and every night before I drift off to sleep I pray for the strength to own that person completely and to be happy with her. I pray for the strength to live my life positively and to be able to reach out to others. It's hard, but I'm fighting. I don't want to live my life in the shadows anymore and I don't want to have to hide behind anything or anyone. So how does one gain confidence?