• loser •

I don’t know about you, but it seems like everyone is obsessed with having a “squad” or “bestie” or something like that. Basically, a group of people you call friends and do absolutely everything with and, no matter what, you’ll stick together and have a great time doing nothing and you can say whatever comes to mind and talk about all your problems.

I don’t have one of those. Of course, I have friends – we’ve known each other since before we can remember. I’m not putting them down or trying to undermine or undervalue their presence in my life. I appreciate them so much. But we have lives. We don’t have time to do everything together. We don’t have the energy or means of accomplishing or achieving the typical “squad goals” or whatever. We don’t want to.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

I fee like society tells us that we need a group of people (or at least one) to call our own or there’s something wrong with us. We’re “loners”, “losers” (BIGBANG, I feel ya) – we’re basically the weirdos of society. We don’t fit in and we don’t belong. And someone told us that was pitiful.

But you know what?

Most aren’t as happy as they want us to believe when they spam your FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds with pictures of them and their buds with #mysquad.

Those of us who don’t have a squad and don’t pretend to – there’s nothing wrong with us. We just have higher standards for meaningful relationships. Or we’re just waiting for the right friendship. Or maybe we’re learning to be okay without someone else.

• Maybe we’re learning to own ourselves before claiming someone else. •

There’s nothing wrong with not having one or a group of people to lean on in hard times. Sure, it makes the hard times a bit harder, but we’ll survive.

“Honestly, I’ve never fit in with the world // I was always alone // It’s been a long time since I’ve forgotten about love // I can’t listen to hopeful love songs anymore // […] // I wanna go back to when I was young.”

• BIGBANG // Loser •

I felt this when I was in public and private school (kindergarten up to fifth grade). It was very difficult for me. I had to get up every morning and tell myself that I had friends. I was overthinking their behavior. I was overthinking the fact that I’d walk behind everyone and no one would tell me even once, “hey, walk with me” or “you go first this time”. Running across the field to grab forgotten lunch boxes even though I was the slowest out of the three of us wasn’t them being mean. I was being kind; I offered anyway. They weren’t taking advantage of that or trying to get rid of me. They weren’t making fun of me when I didn’t shop at Limited Too or watch Spongebob Squarepants like the rest of them. Nah.

In fifth grade, I began home schooling. I felt a sense of freedom and realized that I did not have to fit in with the other kids. They were shallow and I knew that. I just didn’t know how to step back. Now I did. Now, I was comfortable in my own skin.

Fast forward to that time I competed in speech and debate for five years. Everyone was kind and polite, but I didn’t feel accepted until I finished in 6th and then in 4th place in debate at two of the larger qualifying tournaments and made it to semi-finals with my speech three times during my last year. Enter that feeling of insufficiency as myself once again.

Skip to when the most honest friendship I had didn’t work out and I learned that saying forever doesn’t really mean forever. I still remember a birthday letter I received that said, “I’ll always be here for you”.

And that time the most important people to me didn’t show up for my eighth, thirteenth, fifteen, seventeenth, and eighteenth birthdays (Aly, I know you’re laughing at me). Sounds ridiculous, I know. But when you’re eight years old and realize that it’s inconvenient for someone who “loves you” to celebrate your existence, it does something to ya. ::shrugs:: And now you know why I hate birthdays.

None of this is to make you feel bad for the pitiful life I’ve led (because I know people who suffer much worse), but to emphasize that the times in which I have felt the darkest are the times when I have been the most alone.

• You don’t need a squad or bestie to overcome anything. •

Society tells us that, as long as you have one person with whom you can share your heart, you’ll be fine. Screw that. You don’t need a person. You have to learn to be strong enough without validation from other people. Society romanticizes the idea of friendship.

Friendship isn’t stupid selfies and cookies in the middle of the night. Lucky you if you have that. But friendship isn’t easy and it isn’t comprised of giggles or tears over your ex-boyfriend (sorry for undermining the emotional impact of Fifteen, Taylor Swift).

I’ve stopped wasting my time trying to justify other peoples’ actions so I might believe they care in order to feel better about myself; I’ve started trying to see things as they are. Maybe I’m bitter. Maybe I’m no fun. Maybe I’m a realist. Maybe I’m a loser.

But we’ve got the strength to deal with difficulties without a squad and we can persist without needing someone to cheer us on. We don’t depend on the validation of others anymore.

Instead, I’m learning to put my trust in God rather than in people.

I’m not saying having friends is a bad thing or hating on people with squads simply because I don’t have one. The point is this: we’ll be okay even if we’re on our own.

Love always,

Rana || xoxo

 

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• shh •

Howdy!

Forgive my radio silence! School has been kicking my butt and I haven’t really known what to post about which is what I wanted to talk about today.

• an open letter to my friends •

This has been a long time in coming partially because I did not know if I was ready to be this open. I’m also concerned that this will come off as me being a drama queen or something. I deny a lot of things because other people have it worse, but I think it’s important to realize that, just because someone has it worse, doesn’t mean that what hurts me means any less.

But let’s get to it.

I’m a very private person. I will tell you what’s up, but not what’s in my head. I will be very open with you, but not tell you a thing. And I don’t know if you notice that, but it hurts me and I’m sorry for not letting you in.

The thing is, I don’t know how.

I don’t know what to talk about. I don’t know how to have an easy conversation. I don’t know how to talk without thinking, “will I regret saying this?” so I don’t say much. I don’t know how to talk about the things I love without the fear of boring you. I can’t talk about what I love without choking up because only I understand it and even the wrong look from someone when I speak will silence me.

My family is constantly on me to stop mumbling + speak up. I wonder if this is because the words I don’t say ought to be louder and the things I do say mean nothing to me. I’ve grown quiet about the things I love. I’ve forgotten how to be open. I’ve forgotten how to accept other people. I’ve forgotten to put the things that matter to me first; instead, I listen to the people that say “school is the most important thing in your life right now”, “focus on school”, “the grades you get now are what will help you most in college”, “get that scholarship”, “study something that makes you money”, “you should be studying instead of writing”.

I’ve noticed that I don’t look people in the eye so much anymore either. Why? Maybe it’s because they will notice all the thoughts I don’t say. Who knows?

And, to my friends, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to make you feel like you’re not… accepted around me. I don’t mean to make you feel like the things that matter to you don’t matter to me. Okay, so they might not matter to me, but you matter to me. And that’s what matters most.

I’m sorry for holding you at arm’s length. And to those I want to be friends with, but won’t speak to, I’m sorry for not having the courage to reach out.

I genuinely love you all and, while I might limit what I say + do, I do not limit my love for you.

Eternal love,

Rana || xoxo

• no rain, no flowers •

It’s my birthday.

I’ve been breathing for 18 years.

In the eyes of the law, I am now an adult and will be held accountable for my actions; because up until today, all my bad choices could have only been marked down to immaturity. Obviously. So if anyone needs a crime committed before I’m an adult, let me know yesterday.

But law and life are two different things.

• Education •

I’m expected to have a plan for the next 40 – 50 years of my life. And there’s been a lot of pressure because I don’t.

I’m often jealous of my friends. They don’t have the pressure like I do. Their parents don’t pressure them to go to college; they’re chill; they’re open to other options. If the kid wants to take a year off, that’s totally fine. But I’m expected to have it all planned out with a college picked and scholarships lined up while staying on top of school and, oh, I should get a job too.• no rain, no flowers •

It’s stressful + it’s painful mostly because I’ve always been expected and told to go to college all my life; make lots of money, support myself… but I don’t think that’s what I’m called to do. Not right now. All these things are fine, but it’s so shallow and not satisfying to me. I don’t mean I don’t want to go to college, so I say “I’m not called to do it” as an easy way out. I like school; I want to go to college. But I just don’t think it’s what I’m supposed to do.

• Friendship •

I’ve been learning lately that I’m looking for love in the wrong places. I want the things I don’t/can’t have. I want a friendship like that. I want to be so individualized like that. I want to stand out like that. But if I am like that, then I am not who I was created to be which is not that. It’s this. Maybe I’m not supposed to have those things at all or maybe I’m not supposed to have them until I’ve learned that I can’t be truly happy as I am if I’m only half myself without that.

I wasn’t created for partiality. I was created to be whole + when you’re supposed to be full, it’s lonely to be only halfway there.

• no rain, no flowers •

All this context to say that I believe that my life will ultimately be a garden. Trial results in rewards if we handle it the right way. I have faith and I have hope that this struggle now will be useful to me later. I give it to God, the One who loves me more than I can love back, the One who doesn’t pressure, doesn’t confuse, doesn’t go on vacation, doesn’t get too busy, doesn’t leave empty.

As an 18-year-old, I strive to grow in that love, not love to be loved, not even hope for love/friendship. I strive to let go of the things that don’t matter to me + to be okay with disappointing others if it’s what I’m supposed to do. I strive to learn, grow, and make my soul a garden.

I wasn’t created to follow the path laid out for me by those who do not know God’s plan; neither were you. Let’s be okay with that. Let’s be okay with letting others down because, ultimately, we weren’t created to please them, were we?

I strive to love God more than anything else; I pray for the strength + grace to allow no human ties to separate me from Him. I pray for the grace to rid my heart of fear.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

– 1 John 4:18 –

Peace + blessings,

Rana || xoxo

P.S.

I can now reply to comments! Comment away, friends! I look forward to meeting you all. ^_^

“Only a real friend…”

“…would accept your obsession of fictional characters and still put up with you.”

I saw this on Pinterest today and realized…

I strongly disagree with that statement.

I don’t consider myself a great friend. I used to. But things and people change and that’s okay. I think one of the reasons I don’t consider myself a great friend is because of quotes like this. Every day we read or hear about something a wonderful friend has done, how someone else was a wonderful friend, or see “you know you have a best friend if…” or even “we’re not best friends until we blow something up together.”

Stupid, I know. Superficial, I know.

But this is how society determines what a “good friend” is.

I’m pretty sure I don’t meet a lot of those qualifications.

I don’t like to hang out with very many people. I don’t like to obsess over anything really (if I do, the list is quite short and I only obsess until someone else obsesses and then I lose interest). I don’t like staying out late. I don’t even like "Only a true friend..."being up late with other people (there are always exceptions, but for the most part…). I have a borderline psychotic dislike for eating with people even if I really enjoy the food and company (the sound of people chewing makes me want to scratch my ears off, run away, crawl into a padded cell, and blast the loudest music I can find). I like to be up late alone.

I don’t like discussing my problems with anyone my age (I’m a pretty private person) or mostly anyone for that matter (there are, like, 1 – 2 people. Maybe.).

But, according to social media and society, a good/best friend does all these things! They love hanging out with their besties, obsessing over a t.v. show/book/cute guy/whatever. They like staying up until 3:00 a.m. texting their BFF. They like talking into the wee hours of the morning during sleep overs.

I’ll be honest: I used to like all this. I used to be a “normal” friend, right? Like I said: people and things change.

I like mature conversations, deep thoughts, and raw and honest opinions with people older than me. I like to talk to older people because they know more and usually don’t mind me asking a million questions and often like imparting their golden wisdom to the young.

I don’t like commitment. I don’t like committing to being friends with a bunch of people because those people then expect certain things of you and I don’t have the time, energy, or care-capacity a lot of the time.

Brutal and heathenistic. I know.

Like I said: there are always exceptions and I don’t like to limit myself to generalizations.

"Only a real friend..."

So what’s a good friend outside of societal norms (essentially, having a flipping blast whenever you’re with your besties, agreeing in every instance, and being soulmates forever)?

A good friend is someone who is there when you need someone. I can be that.

A good friend is someone who cares enough to ask “what’s wrong” when they sense that something is off. I can do that.

A good friend is someone who loves you enough to will your good above their own. I do that.

A good friend is someone who will take risks to do the right thing, to uphold their own conscience, above what their friend thinks. I’ve done that.

A good friend understands when their friend does something against the grain of that friendship to do what they believe is right. I can do that.

A good friend is honest. I like to think I am.

A good friend will have the courage to tell you if what you’re doing is something they believe is wrong. I need to work on that.

So really, maybe I’m not such a terrible friend. Just because I don’t like to hang out a lot doesn’t mean that I won’t be there for you when you need it. And just because I tolerate obsessions and sit quietly while listening to everyone else freak out about the season finale of that one show doesn’t mean I don’t care about you.

It means I don’t buy into the superficial checklist of a good friend and I am strong enough to be myself.

Myself

/my’self/

pronoun

1. cynical, skeptical, quiet, judgmental, brutally honest, apathetic toward a lot of stuff, enjoys tearing other peoples’ pleasures apart, doesn’t care about anyone’s opinions, has a difficult time showing affection

2. inwardly excited, sweet, helpful, accepting, obnoxious, enjoys terrible puns, passionate about life, enjoys making people happy, cares way too much about everyone’s opinions, loves hugs and committing random acts of kindness

3. basically a contradiction

God bless!

Love,

your friend,

Rana

P.S.

I just did a coconut + honey mask on my hair, then showered, and rinsed with apple cider vinegar. My hair is the mane of a unicorn. [/inserts picture from over a year ago because, while her hair is the bomb diggity now, her face is not/]

"A real friend..."

Check out those ghostie cheek bones!

"A real friend..."