Jessica's Journey

Little challenges, big changes…

About friends, and holidays, and birthdays

So there is a lot on my list of 101 in 1001 that has to do with being a more social person. Or at least, being a better friend to the people that I actually do care to socialize with. I’m generally way too busy overcommitting to a million things to actually be there for anyone else. And as much as I love to talk, sometimes I get carried away and dominate conversations. I’m a perfectionist, and I like to apply my incredibly unrealistic standards not just to myself, but to everyone around me, and for some reason that tends to offend people. With all that being said, I realize logically why I might not have as many friends as some people.

But the heart does not always listen to logic. I’m not lonely, I do have a few awesome friends that I constantly rely on. The best way to describe what I feel is that I am jealous, or maybe envious, of the relationships that others have. I try not to focus on the negative. But it seems every day on Facebook, at work, via e-mail, I am reminded that all of these acquaintances of mine, even family(!) are meeting up, getting together, and hanging out, and not inviting me. I am the proverbial square peg in countless social circles. I’m not sure that I really fit anywhere.

It’s not that I just want an invite from so-and-so. I don’t want to hang out with people I have nothing in common with, or that I barely know. What I want is to be able to build relationships with these people, so that I wouldn’t feel like quite so much of an outcast. Then I could be comfortable sitting, talking, and enjoying myself with them, with real people, instead of just booking up my calendar with “activities” that do nothing but wear me out.

I want to be wanted. Right now I just feel tired and very, very unappreciated. And, upset by the fact that people read this without realizing that it’s about them. Or, maybe I’m being optimistic. Maybe they don’t even bother to read my blog or look at my Facebook at all. I know I’m being a little passive aggressive about it all, but I also know that the people who usually make me feel like such a outsider would laugh in my face if I were open and said, “you hurt my feelings because you won’t be my friend.”  I try to reach out, and get brushed off every time. They don’t seem to care about building a relationship with me, and then every day I am reminded about their events and activities that I’m excluded from. It makes me feel tiny and worthless. I try to chalk it up to horrible social skills (as an expert at that I should know), but they sure have no problem socializing with each other. It’s really just me.

And how does this relate to my birthday? Well. I’ve been dreading the big 3-0 for a while now. Birthdays have been miserable since somewhere in my early 20’s, and it seems likely that this will be the worst. Only I realized the other day that it has nothing to do with being “old”. I have very few concerns about my advancing age, or anything even related to the number of years behind me. All of the unhappiness I have built up about my birthday was really just some defense mechanism. If I convince myself that my birthday will be awful, then I won’t have to be disappointed by the fact that another one has passed by without anyone really noticing.

Sure, my (immediate) family calls and says the obligatory words. But there is no celebration, no recognition, no one saying, way to go for making this far. I want someone else to stand up and congratulate me for everything that I have accomplished in the last 30 years. I want someone to tell me that I am amazing person for not just doing it, but succeeding, and I want them to reassure me that things get even better from here. I want a day that is, for once, all about recognizing me, instead of me running around taking care of everyone else. And I want all of my friends and family, who usually have “better” people to spend their time with, to stop for a moment, ignore all those other people, and notice something special about me.



  Lisa Russell wrote @

My dear friend!
It makes me sad when you are sad. Over the years, I’ve met a lot of people and become more choosey about who I want to spend my time with. You are always one of them. You are the most successful and ambitious friend I have and I really respect you for that. I get so frustrated with some other buddies who seem to….well, I’ll be perfectly honest, don’t work as hard as I do! And don’t have the same values. I think it was the wise ol Dr Phil who said all you really need to have in a relationship is the same values and no addiction problems. Everything else is personal quirks and they are what make us individuals I think. I hope you hear me everytime I tell you how smart, beautiful, and talented you are. Remember, I’m the friend who DOESN’T think you’re crazy! And everytime you say you are, I remind you you aren’t. I think you are awesome! Given your history growing up, you have decided what kind of mother and wife you want to be, and have more than exceeded what you need to be. You are the friend I enjoy hanging out with because you bring a lot to the table and I know I can count on you. Sure, you talk a lot but that’s who you are. And I don’t mind because I don’t always talk a lot and when I do interupt you, you don’t get mad. As we get older, we don’t have tons of friends. We are wise enough to know the important thing is to appreciate the real friends we have and nurture those friendships because they nurture us. None of us with all our responsibilities get to hang out with our buds as much as we want. But we can make a choice to put our girlfriends a little higher on our priority list.
Please always tell me what you need from OUR friendship. I like to think I’m in tune with it all the time, but I know I’m not.
We’re both approaching 30 so I understand the introspection. I’m ready to seal the 20’s (which have seemed to last forever! ) and be the 30 something year old I want to be.
Love you!

  Barb wrote @

Jessica, you are a woman that God has blessed with an inner strength and beauty beyond compare. Know that He has a plan for you, He loves you and cares for you. You have accomplished much at a very young age. Congratulations and Happy Birthday!! I am praying for you and I am here for you, any time.

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