Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Truth Behind a Lie

I was sitting at the lunch table in 6th grade, middle of the cafeteria, and I knew I didn't belong. I knew it. They definitely knew it. At that moment, I was just praying I could go unnoticed. It didn't last long though. They did notice, and I was thrown into the wild that is known as Middle School.

I survived middle school, miraculously, with all my limbs intact. (Although, as many know, I was a few strands of hair lighter come the end of 8th grade.) I even made it through high school reasonably well, if you ignore the purple pants/red sweater era.

There are things that I left rot in halls of my good ole Alma Mater (the purple pants, for one, strange nicknames for another). However, some things just follow along.

How do you explain or disregard things that you believed to be truth ? I could not. What I had always known to be the case, continued to be the case through college, and even after I graduated, and set off in the big world, and finally, eventually, found my way to the Land of Lincoln they still remained.

It is amazing how separated I can be from the past, and yet in an instant, I am back there again, at that same table, not quite belonging, but not sure of where else to go. What I knew then, and what I know now, I don't quite fit in.

I have beautiful friends. It cannot be helped that I have good taste (ha!). Truthfully speaking, however, I really do have beautiful friends. Most of them do not know it, but as someone has lived in a shadow for so long, I can see clearly the others who live in the light. It was not hard to see the attention that they received, and for me, it was not hard to know why I did not. I was a mess. People told me. You may not think it's true, and I don't think they meant to either, but they did tell me. They said so in ways that didn't always need words, but the words did come. The sad part is, they may/probably don't even remember. It's all too unfortunate that I remember now.

"Oh, well, Stephanie, I guess she's prettier than that person- who, really isn't pretty at all."
Or, "Not lookin' so frumpy today?"
Or, "Well, that person got married, so what's wrong with you?"
Or, "Stephanie, you are plain- pretty."

If I had been braver, or bolder, I would have known what to say in response. I did not know. I still do not know an appropriate response. All I know is that I have believed those things to be true for a long time.

Not that I do not try. I do try. I try and try and try, and then I fall short. I have filled my closet as I have filled my head with the clothes and the thoughts that if I can just perhaps dress better, wear taller shoes, have a different style, I will make up for all my other shortcomings, and then perhaps, perhaps, people will like me. Perhaps someone will take note of the very me that I have tried to be for so long. Perhaps someone will believe in me enough to let me grow to be that person I so want to be. But, I'm still here at the end of a long day. An actually great day, struggling.

What is the truth? The truth is that the heart is important. The truth is that how I treat other people, how I care for other people, how I love other people- that is what matters. The truth is, there is only one me, and that God did create me on purpose with a purpose, and He wants me to believe that and to go out and be a light for Him. The truth is, it shouldn't matter how I look on the outside (as long as I don't smell), but that I should focus on the inside. The truth is.... I struggle to live with the truth.

Tonight, I'm going to go to sleep.

Tomorrow I'm going to wake up, and charge into the world, and attempt to make my way. Tomorrow I'm going to work on believing the truth- again. Tomorrow I'm going to work on having a good heart, and loving people, and having patience, and practice all those other things that I know I should do. I am going to have my priorities straight, and have a calm heart and a determined mind and be okay.

Tonight, I am going to throw away the Kleenex (not the whole box, of course, that would be silly), turn out the light and sleep.

Tomorrow. We'll see what happens tomorrow.


Rita said...

Love this one

Stephanie Hunter said...

Thanks Rit. =)