Real or Not Real?

Now that I've reached beyond the two year mark on my Big Move, I've been looking back at the past two years a lot. Truthfully? It's been rough. (It has seemed exceptionally hard.) I knew, deep inside, that moving wouldn't be easy. I knew that I don't handle change very well. But I never realized exactly how hard it would be! In thinking about it, and in talking with some dear friends about it, I've come to realize that what I'm really doing at the moment is trying to find myself.

Who am I?

I thought I knew. But the past couple years have taught me that I didn't. I had this thought the other day that I think for the past several years I was in a very comfortable rut. I had my comfort zone and there was nothing pushing me out of it. I was content. I was floating and bobbing along, no huge worries, no major plot twists. Life was pretty good. Even though I had concerns for my mother, she was 3000 miles away, so it was incredibly easy to distract myself and not think about it. In fact? I think I was truly excelling at that. Not thinking about things. Which made it easy to just be. To not worry overmuch about who I was or what I wanted. Oh, I did think about it occasionally. But those happened few and far between.

Then I moved.

I shook up my pleasant little world. Every. Single. Entire. Bit of my life was shaken. There was no part left unchanged. All of a sudden, my comfy little rut had completely disappeared. I had new people to work with who demanded different things than I was used to. I had family depending on me for certain things. Things I hadn't had to think about on a daily basis for 11 years. 11 years is a long time to be in a rut! No wonder I miss it. It was a habit and I wanted it back, but had no idea how to even begin to do that.

So I drew in. Like a little turtle, I built my shell home and surrounded myself with things that made me happy in the past (books mainly) and I drew my head inside and there I stayed as much as possible. It has become my coping mechanism. Being solitary. Spending time alone. Crowds of people I know have come to intimidate me even more than it used to.

How crazy is that? That I tend to be more comfortable in a crowd of strangers than I do in a crowd of people I know? Because in the crowd of strangers, I can be alone but not alone. I'm with people, but don't have to actually interact with them unless I choose to. But in a crowd of people I know, I'm constantly self-conscious of what they think. I feel like it's a requirement that I talk with them. I worry that they'll judge me for not coming over to their group and saying hello. That they'll think I'm odd. That they'll find out exactly how bad I am at small talk. (I'm bad at it. Really bad.) On and on my mind whirls until I reach the desperation point and decide to just go home.

I'm getting slightly better at holding off that desperation point, but I still find myself there at times.

And yet!

For all the confusion and wondering I've done, God has been SO, so good to me. With a different job, that I love. With choosing to realize that the Enemy has been on my tail and I need to show him Who's Boss. With friends, new and old, who have made their love and concern known. With my niece accepting Jesus and making a whole new life change! (That one is extra special nice! :) And with these words of comfort from a favorite movie:

"I'm not perfect. But through it all, I have learned how to hold firm in a storm. Not by holding on to whatever I can find for as long as I can. But by trusting that the one thing that matters in this world will never let go of me. And Shane...that's what love is. Perfect love casts out all that pain, all that fear, and replaces it with hope." ~ Signed, Sealed, Delivered For Christmas


That's real.


  1. WE MUST BE RELATED. Some how - some way - we must be related.

    Gosh, I'll never end if I begin to point out all the ways you and I have similar personalities. I tend to stay alone, too. Small talks aren't exactly my forte. Self-consciousness clings to me like a second skin when I'm around people I know. And Life has also pushed me outside of my comfort zone. It's so not easy, isn't it? To embrace the new. To have to pretend to be normal in the midst of so much change. I can only hope and pray that the hope you've found will continue to walk you through. God bless you, friend. Don't give up. <3

    1. Ganise: I'm fully convinced we're related at this point! :) And yes, embracing the new is hard. HARD, I tell you. To pretend to be normal in the midst of so much change has become so ingrained in me, though I don't enjoy it, that I forget how to truly act normal sometimes. How crazy, right?

      But God is always good! And hope is always shining bright. When I remember to look up (and God is good at reminding me :), I find such light and joy even in the midst of hard. So I am no way, no how gonna give up today! I pray the same for you, my dearest friend. I so treasure your comments and your support. *hugs*

  2. Yeah, I've been there, in some ways. Afraid everyone's wondering why I don't go over and say 'hi' to them. I'm terrible at small talk too, and even at our church where we've been attending since we moved here 4 1/2 years ago and where I do have a number of good friends, I sometimes get all awkward and go hide. In my case, I hide by finding my kids and watching them play, or getting extra busy "dealing with" them, etc. Last week, some new people sat near us and I could not work up the courage to greet them right when they sat down, and then I spent the rest of the service feeling awkward because they never introduced themselves either, and I kind of ran away and hid in the playroom at the end of the service. COWARD! Sigh.

    Anyway, don't give up. You're an interesting person, and when you choose to share yourself with people, they will be interested, I'm sure of it. (Unless they're idiots.)

    And hey, if you need a minibreak... you could come visit me sometime. We could meet up at a safe, neutral place like a bookstore or a mall or book fair or Starbucks or something. (IIRC we live in the same state?)(And yes, I admit that saying I don't like talking to people and then saying, "Hey, want to get together and talk?" is odd, but... hey. I'm odd too.)

    1. Hamlette: Yes! I get awkward and go hide so often! And then I wonder why I gave in to the fear. But it's ever so much easier to be brave when you're home in your comfort zone, right? At least for me. It's a part of myself I want to change, or at least work on changing. I will conquer this! It is comforting to know I'm not alone in struggling with this. Perhaps we should try and encourage each other periodically. You know, hold each other accountable and all that?

      Thank you! I know this, but it's so nice to be reminded. So thank you!

      We can be odd together, how about it? Because yes, we DO live in the same state and it's really not that many hours between us I don't think. So that's my newest goal this year! Plan a weekend that suits us both and just go for it. If you're half as awesome in person as you are online, that I'm positive it'll be a fabulous time! (PS. a bookstore, book fair, or Starbucks sounds like a perfect neutral spot.)

    2. Well... we could email each other every Monday and ask if we talked to anybody we're not related to by blood over the weekend? :-)

      Today I told a mom I don't know very well that her toddler had really cute shoes. And felt very happy for doing so. Hee.

      Being odd together is one of my favorite things. My husband and I are odd together. My kids and I are odd together. Every good friend I've ever had... we have had a blast being odd together. It's the most fun ever. So yes, let's get together and be odd. (On a Saturday, I wouldn't have to bring my kids, either.)

    3. Hamlette: Well there you go! Perhaps we should try it. :)

      Go you! I haven't had an opportunity to be brave this week, but I'll get several this weekend when I attend a funeral. So I shall report back!

      Sounds great! We shall make this happen.