my wings need to grow.

August 12, 2008
By
The world seems so big, so vast. It’s easy to lose yourself in it. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of routines and the security of plans. But have you ever noticed that you feel empty? A thousand plans and structures could be placed in a hole, yet it would still look empty. I used to think that plans and perfection would help me fill that void in myself, but all it did was make that hole bigger. It stretched to the breaking point and it found myself ready to break with it.

So I started searching for something other than what I had been using to fill that void. I was desperate to feel complete and, in that desperation, I found myself surrounded with people who seemed similarly empty. And then, suddenly, I felt better. At the time, I felt better. Looking back, it was probably the worst choice in friends I’ve made in my short life. But being around people who were just as shallow as me gave me something else to fill that hole with.

And it worked back then.

There were many differences between me and those friends I had made. They were all about making sure that they stayed in the forefront all of the time. I like to the background, to be quite honest. But everything had to be about them. I said, sure, why not let them steal the spot light. It’s not like anyone will ever care about me. I let them control me and my decisions. They influenced the way I dressed, the music I liked (or didn’t like), the amount of time I spent with my family and best friend since dirt was invented. And I let them do this because I didn’t want to make decisions for myself. I was scared to let people know who I really was. And instead of dealing with that, I spent two years of my life being someone I wasn’t.

But, gradually, I started noticing that I was once again empty. The void was beginning to clear and I wasn’t sure if I could deal with that. My friends noticed that I was changing, too. We started fighting over the stupidest things. One of them asked why I was suddenly acting like such punk, not caring about anything and being mean? I responded that that was just who I was. But I was lying to both her and myself. I care about lots of things and I am not a mean person. But being empty will do strange things to you.

And then I started spending more time with my best friend. I had neglected her for the most part of two years and I felt guilty. I didn’t want to risk losing someone I’d known since second grade. But my friends did not like change. One of them said it this way, “You’re abandoning us.” So I made an effort to spend time with my best friend and my other friends. That only made things worse.

They started spending enormous amounts of time with each other and leaving me out in the cold. And my questions about what they were doing or if anything new was happening got ignored, leaving me stunned and wondering what I was doing with them in the first place. It was the first time I’d experienced true heartbreak and true hurt. Up until that point, I thought all of my friends were the real deal and that they cared about me just as much as I cared about them. But the reality was that it was a one-sided friendship and was doing nothing but tearing me up inside. It was unhealthy and destructive.

Very mature words for someone my age, right? I suppose they are. But it’s the truth. A few months ago, I was blissfully unaware of how hurtful people can actually be. But now I know not to let myself get too involved. I know that I have to protect myself. Looking back, there were lots of times that I should have done something. Maybe if I had, then they wouldn’t have taken advantage of my feelings the way they did.

Today, as I sit here typing this, I’m comforted to know that the hole is filling up with something much deeper. I cannot tell you what it is, but I can feel it working its way into my life, changing me ever so slightly. I am no longer afraid to be myself. I no longer hide behind something I know is a front. And that feels better than any amount of so-called friends. Because what good are friends if all they do is make you feel empty and alone?

So this is me. It is still hard to described “me”, but I know that the words will one day come. As for now, I am just going to follow the path that I am on. It’s a good path that I know will lead me to being successful in life.





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