I was not the happiest of children. The statement “I was an unhappy child” seems very harsh to hear myself say, but there is a lot of truth in those words. I love my parents very much, and always knew I was loved unconditionally in return. I always had enough, and never really lacked for friends either. But I always felt kind of down. That I was not quite good enough. Good enough for who? I’m not sure. I was terrified of bullies, that they would attack me or anyone I knew for that matter. To me a bully is still the WORST thing on this planet a person can be.
I was constantly worried about myself and the world around me. It just seemed like so many people were mean or hurting. My Mom told me once as an adolescent that I had to stop carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I can’t remember the context of the conversation, but those words have never left me.
I used to be the kind of person who literally could feel other people’s pain. Almost physically. I would find myself in tears over stories of abuse and neglect. My heart would ache over seeing homeless people on the street. I’d get a pit the size of Alaska in my stomach when I saw someone being embarrassed (still do). So much so that I would have to leave the classroom I was in, or step into a bathroom to compose myself at a friend’s house. I've always been overly emotional. I could mask these things (I think) when the situation involved strangers, but when something hurtful happened to me personally, I would break. I was so overly sensitive I can hardly believe it. I pray my children will not be the same way, because I don’t think I can stand knowing they will feel the pain that I felt.
Anyway, my Mother’s words to me that day really stuck. You can’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders Brittany. But how? I thought to myself. How do I stop feeling for other people? Feeling so strongly for myself? In the true fashion of a dramatic person like myself, I thought it would be easier to just not care at all. Sometime in my late teens, I just stopped caring. I still dated and fell in and out of love. I still had a huge heart for some of my friends and family members. But I let go of a lot of the weight. I made the conscious decision that I couldn’t care about certain people or certain things any more, and I never looked back. I still haven’t.
I can remember the exact day I made that choice. I was sitting by myself at a Subway after track practice. I’ve never been the same (in a good way).
I often wonder how this has affected me in the years sense that day. I’ve been a happier person since I made the choice to guard my heart a little closer. To be more careful who and what I invest it in. But have I also been a meaner person? Harder? A bigger bitch? Excuse my language, but I’ve always been kind of a b. I guess we will never know. I also don’t know the point of sharing this, besides to share part of my story. And to put it out there that we all have problems.
I blog a lot about my brand new house and the vacations we take. About how obsessed with my huge wedding I was or how gorgeous my engagement ring is, blah blah blah. But that is not all of me. I have struggled. Struggled with what is a normal amount to hurt. With accepting who I am and how to get over things. I have had some hard things happen to me in my life, things I will never blog about in a million billion years. And all of those things make me that much more appreciative of what I have now.
Everyone has feelings, and everyone faces challenges. Mine have been minute in the grand scheme of things, and for that, I will always be thankful. Let’s just be nicer and lift each other up each day, each chance we get. And do NOT try to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. I do not know that I’ve mastered the happy medium of empathy and strength, but I pray that we all find it.