The Void

Have you ever been at a point in your life where something felt like it was missing? From the outside, everything looks and seems perfect but you just know it’s not. It doesn’t mean that you don’t appreciate everything you have but to be completely honest, there is a hole, a void that needs to be filled.

I know that I’m lucky. I have everything I could possible ask for and want. I have it easy on a lot of fronts. But there’s always been a part of me that needs more. It’s hard to say which area of my life needs to be filled.

This is something that we don’t talk about much. How many times have we gotten into a discussion with other people about feeling like something was missing? How many times have we talked about this feeling that something needs to change? We don’t. I know that when I have some adult time, I usually talk about the physical things happening in my life. It’s hard to express this void when everything I do have to say is already good. Maybe we talk about problems or issues we have with some part but again, it’s usually something that physically exists. This void is hard to explain. It’s hard to express in a way that others can understand. I hope I’m doing it some justice trying to explain it here.

In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert says that “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment.”

I have felt that happiness and inner contentment. And somewhere, somehow, it leaked. I can’t be the only one in the world searching for something. I can’t be the only one who has this need to fill this void. It took me a while to realize that I was trying to fill it with things that would never satisfy it. It’s like I have to come to terms with myself and where my life is now and find joy in that. I can also actively work to add substance to my life to help. But the void can’t be filled with superficial distractions. It won’t work.

It’s hard to keep up this effort. But my only choices are either to keep doing it to find the contentment I seek or to give up. I refuse to give up.

FOMO

FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out.

All my life, I’ve felt (and still continue to feel) like if I don’t attend every social event out there that I’m going to be missing out on something. It’s gotten worse with Facebook because then you know what you’ve been invited to or what events you’re missing out on. You see pictures of these events and it looks like everyone had such a great time and you are nowhere to be found anywhere. I’ve run myself into the ground to make sure that I’m able to be at every event there is. There was a time in my life that I would volunteer for every dance performance, go to every party, be at school, be at work. Needless to say, the only way I realize that I had to stop overextending myself is when my body shut down on me. That’s when I realized that my health was more important than being everywhere and took more time in taking care of myself.

Why do we do this to ourselves? The world isn’t going to stop if we don’t attend everything. I think part of it is (at least for myself) that I feel like people will forget I exist. That comes from a fear of not being important enough that people will remember me. If I always put myself in front of others, then they can’t forget me, right?

It’s an insecurity about who I am. This fear can extend not just my friends, but my family and my husband. It shows the lack of confidence I have in myself to know that I am important to someone. I have to say yes to everything so that these people always see me. And the only way to change it is to really start finding some confidence in who I am as a person. It’s knowing that no one is truly that easily forgettable. It’s knowing that if someone loves you, that no matter what you miss out on, you will get another chance.

I think this fear of missing out also applies to the fact that if I don’t attend something, will I regret it forever? Will it change something in my life that I can never get back again? The truth is probably not. I have missed events before and yet, my life continues on the path that it does. What didn’t happen can never happen, if that makes sense.

Now, my kid comes first. I will miss out on a lot of things. Events like parties at clubs, bars, movies aren’t things that I can go to at this time. I have to just hope that I matter enough to people that they will still try to spend time with me when we can.

Those Lost Friendships

People come, people go. I’m fine with it. Until I have a day where I miss those friends that I don’t hang out with anymore.

What is it about certain friendships that makes them so short-lived? There are experiences and memories that makes you so sure that this is a friendship for a lifetime. Yet, within a year, you are hardly speaking to that person. It isn’t always a bad end. Sometimes, it’s as simple as one person moved away or people just grew apart. But it does end. That’s the part that sucks.

There are people that have such a strong impact on your life and yet, remain for such a short time. I do believe that everyone enters and leaves your life for a reason. Every person helps you progress to the next step in your life.

Then, there are those people who, after a certain amount of time, don’t help you move forward anymore. Those are the ones that you have to walk away from. And chances are that if they let you walk away from them, they either feel the same way about you or they weren’t worth hanging around with to begin with. Let me clarify this. Not being worth it does not diminish the quality of the experiences that you have had hanging out with them. Experiences are experiences. They will always help you grow. But sometimes, the person that leads you to them will hold you back.

Letting go is the hardest part. Even now, there are times where I reminisce and wonder how these friendships ended up the way they did. I know I had my reasons for walking away and I’m sure the other person did too but at the same time, we were friends where our lives converged.

There are friendships that last forever and there are ones that are short-lived. How does this happen? How are there people you can continuously grow with and there are people that you can’t even be friends with for a year? It’s interesting to see those friendships that always pick up where they left off even though you don’t always talk and those friendships that end if you don’t talk for a short while. Why do some friendships last and what keeps them together while some end? is it effort or personality or some unique experience?

I wanted to dedicate this post to those friendships that have been lost for whatever reason along the journey of my life. I miss those people all of the time even though we had our reasons for moving on.