DISCLAIMER: This is NOT meant to be a pity party or an attention getter- I'm sharing it merely because I felt like sharing it with you all.
Some of you might be wondering not about the things I'm doing, but HOW I'm doing.
I'll give you a bit of an inside peek at what's been going on for me and what I've been struggling with.
You'd think that with almost 500 people living on a ship, you would never get lonely. GUESS AGAIN. As most of you know, I'm very extroverted. I need interaction with people often in order to feel energized and re-booted. I am also an external processor- I need to talk things OUT LOUD to fully process and comprehend them. It's a problem here. I have friends, sure, but only very few people I feel comfortable running to if I needed something. Even when I do need something, we hit a bit of a conundrum. 1)They are probably working, 2)They are probably busy, 3)they might be a different kind of personality- introverted, etc. These are all problems at home, but they are amplified by a million here.
At home, even when I'm not around friends, I have my family. While that interaction may seem insignificant and routine, I've learned that I 100% took those interactions for granted. Sure- we got on eachothers nerves and didn't always want to be bothered and were running in 100 different directions, but at the end of the day, they were ALWAYS there. I know that both of my parents if I ever needed anything would be there. I could ask for a date and we'd make it happen, I could make dinner for them and they'd be there, I could ask to have Jo for a day, and they'd let me. Having people around that you KNOW are there for you and have always had your best interest in mind is extremely comforting. Having that stripped away, on the otehr hand is EXTREMELY painful. I don't have that here. 5/10 times I go to a meal, I sit alone.
Another problem with this is that I am NOT an initiator. While I'm an extrovert, I do NOT impose, and I do not initiate. If someone is sitting alone, most times, I don't join them unless I know them. If my friends are going off and doing something or just hanging out I do NOT invite myself no matter how much I might want to go. Here's where you hit a MAJORRR clash. Everyone is different. Some say 'If they want to come, the'll come'. Some say 'Lets invite everyone." some just don't think about it. Me- I don't like to go annnywhere unless invited. I've had too many experiences where that's backfired- I invited myself and found out later they did NOT want me there. That's hurtful and to preserve myself I just steer away from it. Is it right? No... but is it the way my mind and gut go? Yes. It's something to work on, but for now it's a huge wall.
I have always wanted to belong to a group. Up until this point I never once have, except for my family, which I desparately wish I had here during all of this. I have never been someone people invite places. It's never, "We need to invite Michelle" or "Michelle has GOT to come!!"It's always an afterthought. "Ohhh you should've been there". But.. if I didn't know about it.. how could I have been there? This sense of belonging has never happened for me, which is a bit funny because it's one of the top 5 things I've always wanted for my life.
I truly think that this is something God is trying to work on me in. I have this overwhelming sense that this is not what I want for myself. I don't want to constantly be in a state of loneliness and wishing that my life was what it isn't. I want to be content with where I am and just give the rest of the feelings up. I am sick of feeling constantly lonely. I've asked God to not just take this away, but to show me how to handle this. I have some past friendships that still haunt me a bit that I'd like to deal with. I have some serious deep issues in this department that I just want to work through and learn from, not just cast off. My hope and prayer is that I don't just get rid of these issues for a day or a few weeks. I don't want temporary releif, but I want COMPLETE relief... I want to be finished with it forever so that I never have to go through these things again. I don't want to question my sense of belonging and who I am. I want to be okay with where I am in regards to this. I'm not saying I'll never ever feel lonely again- not going to happen- it's a human emotion we all feel from time to time. I'm just asking for God to intervene and get RID of all of this with me.
I know this post is loaded. But, I'm hoping that by sharing this with all of you, you can do two things. I hope you can pray for me- for all of this. It's been a battle all the way back to when I started making friends. I've always thought people were my friends because they felt bad for me, which isn't true. Another thing I hope might come from this is that someone might read this and say 'wow.. that's me... or was me.." and would be willing to chat about it. I've asked God to bring people my way who can help me through.