Thursday, December 3, 2009


I have been living in Pittsburgh for 3 and a half years now, but I feel it's important to tell people as often as I can that my heart is still in Indiana. (Chances are, if you know me and you're reading this, then you already knew that.) My hometown is the most beautiful place I know, and I love being with my family. Trips home are not frequent, but I cherish them even more because of that. I am so excited for my trip home this Christmas that I have already bought and wrapped most of my gifts! When I'm at home, I really prefer to spend most of my time on the farm. I hate going out shopping, to the grocery stores, and I sometimes even feel weird about going to church. I'm always afraid I'm going to run into someone I know.

I don't like running into people from my "past life." Teachers I had in elementary school, or people I went to high school with -- meetings with them are always awkward, and if I have the opportunity I'll usually pretend that I didn't see them and walk the other way.

Tonight, I was looking through pictures of my brother's girlfriend, who I will meet for the first time at Christmas (alright, call it Facebook stalking if you must), and I realized that I'm both excited about and dreading meeting her.

In May, after four great years living in Pittsburgh, I'll be moving back to Indiana! This great news makes my heart sing! But, I know that once I'm living there, I won't be able to hide on the farm all the time. Eventually I will run into people from my "past life" -- and I am terrified.

My great joy at being back in a place I dearly love is being overshadowed by what I now recognize as embarrassment. I don't like the person I've become. I don't want to meet my brother's lovely girlfriend because I am sure that I won't measure up. I don't want to run into people who knew me in high school or college because I know how they will react: "Well, she's not doing very well..."

I'm afraid that the people I meet will judge me the same way that I judge myself. I'm nothing like the person that I hope to be:: I've gained a lot of weight. I'm introverted and don't like talking to people. I don't put people at ease. I'm not a good networker. I am not a spiritual person. I've not been successful with my career. I have no direction for my life. I earn a crappy wage for a part-time job. I'm awkward in conversation. I am not kind.

I could continue that list for pages. And I could set myself a regimen of healthy eating, exercise, prayer and scripture, soul-searching, generosity, and socializing for the next six months. But I know I wouldn't stick with it and it would be just another thing that I failed to finish.

The chasm between who I am and who I want to be is immense. In the face of such a huge discrepancy, I feel like it will be easier for me to dig myself a hole over here and keep hiding.

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