"When you've totally dedicated yourself to your art you feel like you see the outside world from a bubble. You see the beautiful, popular people who look like they just have fun all the time and aren't stressed out like you and everyone loves them. It's pretty cool when they want to be your friend too."
This is the first time I've really processed that. I was just talking with a friend who is under some pressure right now, trying to make a decision about studying abroad and feeling torn between doing something he's always wanted to do, while at the same time feeling like he has just become something he has always wanted to be.
I don't know who feels this way or why. I don't know if it has to do with our social interaction when we're young, our mind development, or just our perception of people, but that first paragraph is the description of my life from age 10-17. Of course, I'm sure hormones and such played some role in all of that mess, but I always felt like I was missing out. In high school I would see the girls whom I thought everyone loved and wanted to hang out with and envied them because I didn't have the chance to be their friend even if I wanted to -- I had dance. "Hey Liz want to come to our sleepover," "Sure, but I have to leave early because I have dance in the morning." I wasn't a part of a team that was always together. My team was my friends from dance and things were great until I decided to switch studios and leave them all behind. I always say I have no regrets, but actually I do have one. I wish I had never left BalletMet. I wish with all of my heart that I had stayed just to enjoy my senior year and spend time with the women I truly cared about.
I sacrificed a great deal of things to try and become a part of the elite group I so longed to join. My morals, my reputation, my true friends. And in the end the bottom line was that it didn't make me happy at all. In fact it made me hate my life and the person that I had become. I realized I had been one of those girls that everyone loved. People did want to hang out with me. People that valued me and wanted to be a part of my life. People that I had fun with -- real fun, not just the fake kind with the posed pictures and plastic smiles. I'm freakin weird. I like to hang out at home. I don't fit in doing hoodrat stuff and that's okay, because that's who I am.
So anyways, that was high school in a nutshell. When I went to college it was pretty much a repeat of events. Only now I had a totally fresh start. There was no geeky-artsy-miss "I skipped a grade" reputation to follow me along. So I kind of reinvented myself and molded into being that same type of person I had always put on a pedestal. Of course this led to -- surprise -- more self-loathing and confusion. I will say that when I joined Theta I was still in this mentality. It was another one of those "groups" that I wanted to be a part of, and when I had finally achieved it I wasn't quite sure what it meant. Luckily through being a part of Theta I was able to see that I could enjoy having many different types of friends and sharing life with people from totally different walks of life, but that didn't mean I had to live their life.
So anyways, that was TMI. But kind of nice to get off my chest. I have just kept telling my friend that he needs to do what makes him happy. Write down his goals. Think about what makes him tick -- what he is passionate about. What he lives for. Because when you think about life that way, there's a whole lot of stuff we treat like mountains that are really no more monumental than a grain of sand. I think that's why I'm feeling so much more peace about my decision to go to Elon. Aside from the fact that I've made a conscious effort to pray about it and God's will, it's just right. I'm excited to pick out fabric for the throw pillows for the couch in our apartment. I'm excited to coax my roommates into doing Insanity with me, start a new job, focus on new challenges in my classes and network the CRAP out of central North Carolina. I want to go on another mission trip. I want to try to start a Theta chapter at Elon. I want to make new friends.
These things make me happy. It's my life and I'm living it. I'm not looking at some else from the other side of the fishbowl thinking "why can't I be like them," and I hope I can be a confidant to people who are feeling that way. Because I really, really do understand.