it’s the end of the world as we know it…

My brother shared a gem with me this morning about how the Rapture is going to occur May 21st of this year. In case you aren’t aware, that’s my birthday. My 25th birthday. It’s also the day I’m going to run my first half-marathon. (Here’s one of the MANY sites in case you’re morbidly curious: http://judgementday2011.com/ ). Of course I shared with my dad who is going to be my running buddy on race day and we had a good laugh about it. Then I went for my run today.

During my run, I started to think. I don’t believe it one shred, but what if it WAS true? What if we were given the day that the world is going to end? There are so many people in our lives that we touch and whose lives touch ours all the time and yet, I don’t say what people mean to me and why I’m thankful for them often enough. So in light of this impending “Judgement Day”, I’ve decided to take the time to let as many of the people in my life know how grateful I am for them and what they mean to me.

——-

and by ‘as many people’ i guess i meant 8. of course, that doesn’t mean that only 8 people have impacted my life in huge ways that i’m really thankful for, i just kinda got burned out. i sent this generic message plus a specific message to 8 people telling them why i’m thankful and how they’ve impacted my life. pretty much any one of my friends on facebook or in real life would have been a wonderful candidate to get such a message, but i don’t want it to be fake. i don’t want it to be forced. i know that there are some who very recently have had a big impact on my life and i really wanted to let them know. i had a grandiose plan of letting EVERY SINGLE PERSON on facebook and in my email know, but it’s hard work doing this. it’s kinda draining emotionally, too. for some, it meant looking back into the past and thinking about great memories and for others it was reliving the changes that they have been a catalyst for in recent months. but undoubtedly, every person who has ever crossed my path has made a difference. they either helped me or hurt me and in doing so, shaped the person i am today.

a lot of the end psychology stuff i’ve been learning has gotten me to really, really thinking. there are certain orientations that place a lot of importance on childhood events and occurrences and how they impact who you are today. i certainly agree with that, but i think it’s more how you as a person react to those events. which messages did you internalize as a child and which ones did you let roll off you? i have found that i internalized a LOT of garbage. i internalized a lot of negative things. i internalized a LOT of rejection – so much so that to this day, i’m terrified of being rejected. i HATE putting myself into a situation where i am accepted or rejected based on who i am (think school applications….). i HATE looking like a fool, even with little kids. i don’t want to be perceived as a ‘loser’ or ‘less than’. i get really anxious when meeting new people or joining new groups because i don’t know if i will be accepted into the group or if i will be just tolerated.

i know, this makes me seem like i’m 15, but it’s the truth. i grew up in a neighborhood with lots of kids. most of them were jerks. especially to me. my next door neighbor was one of my best friends and the boy that lived down the street was unquestionably my closest and best friend. he was rejected by the neighborhood kids too. we stuck together – and then he moved. i don’t remember a lot of the time after he moved to be honest. i know we wrote letters back and forth and in one letter from him, i remember reading ‘don’t worry about them. they’re just jerks.’ i know exactly who he was talking about and the best i can figure is that things got a lot worse after he left. that i was really hurt by these kids and now i didn’t have my best friend to help me through. my next door neighbor was accepted by association with her older brothers who were REALLY cool. so she didn’t understand. sometimes she even joined in when they made fun of me. these are the things i remember about growing up. i remember really good times with my guy friend. i remember really good times with another friend of mine. we always had lots of fun. neither one of them were white kids, either. i remember them and their families being really accepting of me and really liking me as a friend. i was so sad when they both moved away.

sometimes i wonder what they’re up to now. i wonder what they’re doing now, at 25. what did they do with their lives? are they married? are they even alive? did they go to college? what was their major? are they happy? i wonder if they remember me and think about me ever.

the thing with childhood is that i don’t think kids have an understanding of what things like ‘moving away’ really mean. especially for a kid who got picked on a lot. it’s like another rejection, but by kids who actually liked you. i don’t know that i really understood that they didn’t have a choice in the matter. all i knew is that my friends were gone. i think that has followed me for a really long time. up to this day. i’m still trying to figure out what i need to ‘do’ in order to be accepted. how do i need to act so that the ‘other kids will like me’? it’s a tough place to live.

that’s why i’m so grateful to the people in my life who have shown and are showing me that it’s okay to just be me. who i am is good enough. i don’t have to ‘be’ anybody or put on an act to be accepted. of course, it’s still scary every time i meet someone new. it’s scary wondering what they REALLY think. sometimes, it really does feel like the end of the world when i have to put myself out there.

what brings about the end of the world as you know it?

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