Sunday, September 17, 2017

Proud.

'Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell
I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell
I'll just say this is "I wish you farewell"
I hope you're somewhere prayin', prayin'
I hope your soul is changin', changin'
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin'
I'm proud of who I am
No more monsters, I can breathe again
And you said that I was done
Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come
'Cause I can make it on my own
And I don't need you, I found a strength I've never known
                  - Kesha, "Praying"


I'm proud of who I am.

The last couple days - probably longer than that - I've struggled with self-doubt as I've revisited my past. I met up with an old friend from the first college I attended yesterday. We had some great conversations about faith and our disillusionment with the Evangelical Christian culture and our evolving understanding of religion. It was nice to talk about things that have been on my mind for a long time but who I haven't really had much opportunity to discuss with someone who's on a similar page.

But on a certain level, I left wanting something I couldn't quite identify. I realized that on a certain level, our conversation had left me feeling bad about myself. My friend seemed so confident and self-assured. She knows how many kids she wants. She knows what kind of man she wants. She's comfortable without a man. She seemed to maybe even be judging me for being hung up on the man that I am. She has a fervent faith and prays and goes to church and has strong views on political issues. I just felt like a bit of a mess.

I don't know where I'm going. I've probably said this before, but I'm afraid to plan my life out any more and I constantly flip-flop about what career I should pursue. I don't know whether I want kids. I know I get hung up on guys who don't like me back. I know I'm messy. I know I overshare. I know I'm not entirely sure what my faith looks like. I know I like to push the boundaries of the straight and narrow but I also am a square compared to most of the world. I know I shouldn't be writing all my feelings on the Internet. I know I don't know how to pursue the man I want and I've probably made a mistake in pursuing him as much as I have. I know I should probably find a church. I should know where I stand on all the issues. I should be passionate about more than mental health advocacy because that's not what's in vogue to care about.

But I kind of like me anyways. If I overshare, it's because I'm trying to be vulnerable to help other people who are going through something difficult but maybe are afraid to say something. If I love people who don't love me back, at least I love without expecting something in return. I hope I'm honest and that I let people know how much I care. I know it doesn't come as easily to everyone as it does to me, but it's nice to know you're appreciated, especially after you have expressed admiration for somebody else.

I guess I'm frustrated because I invested a lot into this friendship but never felt like that was completely reciprocated, especially after I left that school and we were geographically separated. I had to stop talking to her for a time because I was so emotionally drained getting angry at how she wouldn't acknowledge my feelings or share about herself and be honest about her own life. All of a sudden, in the last couple months she was suddenly interested in being friends again. It was nice to meet, but I felt a bit incensed that after she didn't prioritize our relationship, she could make me feel bad about myself. If anyone should feel bad, it's her for not appreciating my friendship and for never apologizing for never (as far as I recall) checking up on me when I was fighting depression after I left school.

You don't have to have it together or pretend you don't. Who even likes being around someone like that. Maybe it's my personality, but my favorite moments I've had with people have been when they let the pretenses drop and they were goofy and weird or honest and raw. It's easy to feel inferior to people who don't appreciate the love or friendship we extend them because that means they have the power to reject us and a reason to not want us.

But tonight I'm listening to a song I wrote about the guy I liked my junior year who I always kind of wish things had worked out with, and I'm proud of myself. Even if nobody wants to listen, I created that song, and it is a masterwork to me in that it perfectly encapsulates how I felt in the period that I wrote it; it is a monument to a heartache that has haunted me the past three years of my life. It bring a tiny bit of healing to me whenever I sing it. I created something beautiful out of shit. I keep doing that.

People may never apologize for the way they've let me down or even outright hurt me, but I choose to let go because I don't want to hurt myself any more.

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