A thought came to my mind recently about myself. I often sit and think about things, pondering why I constantly feel that people aren’t treating me with the same kindness that I treat them. What is it that I’m doing that makes me unapproachable? I had to really think about this because I know it’s not everybody else’s fault that I’m feeling this way, this is a two way street. I know I’m as much at fault as the next person; I’m not perfect.
Over the years I’ve gone through a lot. I’ve experienced enough drama to last a lifetime from family, to so-called friends, workmates, schoolmates, you name it. You can definitely say that I’ve become quite jaded in some respects when it comes to people and how genuine they are when it comes to them wanting to get close to me. My trust level is so low that it’s hard for me to trust anyone outside of my immediate family, and I can’t even trust most of them! My circle of trust is very small, and it includes my husband, my children, my mother and sister in law and about three close friends. That’s it. With that being said, I have put up a wall around me that does not allow for anyone else to get close to me, yet sometimes I find myself wishing I was closer to some people. Sometimes.
I’ve spent so much of my early years trying to fit in, trying to be outgoing, to not caring about fitting in and just doing and being me. Always smiling, always happy, always laughing and trying to put a smile on other people’s faces. Always hugging and kissing people on the cheek, showing affection to all those I cared about. I was always inviting people over, initiating girls night out, get-togethers, and other things. I willingly put myself out there because I still had that belief that people were good, at least the people that I chose to surround myself with. Over time, that changed dramatically; I changed. I had more kids, traumatic things happened in my life, and my focus completely changed. That need to be around people, that need to stay in touch began to fade. Just seeing people in passing became good enough for me. Saying hi and giving a hug and keeping it moving sufficed. My husband and children became my focus. Keeping us afloat, keeping us together despite all the roadblocks, despite all the people wishing hardships upon us is all that mattered to me.
The thing is, I never took that wall down. If anything I made it stronger. I reinforced it over the years to the point where I no longer cared if I saw certain people. It didn’t bother me if I wasn’t invited to go out or to attend a gathering. I was no longer interested in saying hello to certain people or giving hugs. I knew I had become stand-offish, but I didn’t know how bad I had become until my husband pointed out my behavior to me. I couldn’t deny anything he said because I knew it was the truth. I knew that was me.
What I’m dealing with now is how do I change that? More importantly, do I want to change? I know what to do to change my attitude. Small little gestures like reaching out to some of my friends and inviting them over, or inviting them out for a drink. I’ve gotten so used to my life as it is now that it’s become hard to take that step. I love my friends, and I really do care about them, but a part of me often think “Why does it have to be me to make this gesture? What is stopping them from reaching out to me and inviting me somewhere?” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting at home stewing over whether or not my friends are going out or having some fun get together at their home without me. I don’t care about that and that doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve never been one of those people who feel they should be invited to every party that happens within my circle. That never bothered me. What does bother me is when it’s always expected of me to initiate or put together a get together.
Let’s face it: We’re all busy. We all have our own lives to live with various problems. I know it’s hard for all of us to make time to do a lot of things, but if we really want to make time we will. That’s just how it goes. My husband keeps encouraging me to have a little get together at the house and invite a few of my friends over. This is odd coming from him because it used to bug him when I was the hostess with the mostess back in the day! It also shows me that he notices a change in his wife, a change that isn’t a positive one, and he wants me to get back to my old self. I kind of miss my old self too, but so much has changed. I’ve changed, and not just because of being burned by people, but because I’ve become older and wiser. My patience is shorter, and that can be a good and bad thing.
Honestly, I’m ok with the new me – flaws and all. I’m not perfect, and I will always have things that I need to work on. I don’t want to continue to isolate myself from my friends, and by isolate I mean seeing them, but not hanging out with them. At the same time I’m not going to let it bother me either. Does that make any sense? I care, but I don’t care. I’m 42 years old, and the fact of the matter is I’ve changed. For better or for worse, who knows. I think it’s a mixture of both, and I’m completely ok with that.