Alone: A word that seems to cause people quite a bit of anxiety. For me too, I guess. I’ve been thinking so much about being alone, and how to be alone successfully. Don’t get me wrong, I am not utterly alone, left to fend for myself. I have the support of my family and have my handful of very dear friends..They just all happen to live quite far away. Both of my sisters live overseas and my parents live 5 hours away. My friends are either spread across Southern Africa or overseas…so being alone is something I have had to come to terms with. It is something I have often prayed about, or questioned and although there has been some understanding, I’ve never really been able to fully grasp it. Today, though, well she was a different one and I feel I got some more answers. Answers, that maybe we can all ponder on and ask ourselves the same question:
Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?
After qualifying and moving about a bit, I finally decided to return home to what was familiar..only to have my family up and leave and go in all directions. Not having lived at home for several years, I had lost contact with people I had known. I am not sad about it, it’s just how life is. But suddenly, I was a stranger in my home town. And I still kind of am. I have thought about reaching out to old school friends, but I no longer lead the same lifestyle I once did, so I know that eliminates quite a few of the people; and as I said, I still have my close friends and that is good enough for me. I’ve never felt the need to have a ton of friends.
Anyways, getting slightly off topic. What I really wanted to share today is the revelation the Father gave me. As I said, I have often prayed and asked Him why I seem to be spending so much more time alone than with others. And why the ‘others’ seem to be dwindling around me. He gave me a reply that He’s never actually given me before:
Because, I need to learn who I am and not who the world says I am
This really got me thinking. Growing up and even more so today, we’ve had the media, celebrities, magazines telling us what was perfect, what mould we had to fit into. But I’m not talking about that. I think by now we have all realised that the mindset of a celebrity is not generally a healthy one. I am talking about the people in our lives, friends, family, loved ones, how as we have grown up, the people in our lives have caused us to change, be shaped into who we are today. And I wonder, has anyone stopped and thought, is this the person I am meant to be? Or am I just being the person I am expected to be?
Look, I am not saying that I don’t appreciate what the people around me have done for me. I feel very blessed to have parents who brought me up with strong values and morals and that I have a mom who introduced me to God and what it is to believe in Him. But, I also know the pressure of needing to be a certain way, or act or say certain things, and I am sure that every one of us has felt that. We live in a world where perfection is something to strive for but forever unattainable, a world where you are never good enough because you can always be better, a world where giving your all just doesn’t seem to make the cut. I am not trying to be negative or put a damper on things, but I am tired of the pressures of the world. Ultimately, they really don’t stand for much. My whole life, I have placed such pressure on myself..pressure to be like this person, pressure to be like that person..and not because they’ve put pressure on me, but because I put it there. I take full responsibility for that. I can sit and blame people, but for what? I placed the pressure on my shoulders and no one else did. And where has it left me? Not actually really knowing who I am. I know what I stand for and what I believe, but somehow I have ended up not just being a stranger in my home town, but also being a stranger to myself. At 25, I am not sure I am even allowed to admit to this, we’re all supposed to walk around with this facade, pretending we have it all together, pretending we’re strong and able. Well, guess what? I am a mess, and I am not strong and able..but I am learning to be.
And so, that is why I am alone. And in the spirit of trying to change my perspective on things, I am going to see this season of my life as a blessing. A blessing, because I have been given the gift of time, to find out who I really am, to learn about myself. My time is completely my own and it belongs to no one else. And I really need to grab this season with both hands, because who knows what the future holds…thankfully though, I now Who holds my future.