Bless My Heart

the improvement of a southern girl



Imagine this person for me.

Imagine a woman who diverts her eyes when meeting you for the first time. She forgets your name as soon as you state it. She may nod politely, but usually has nothing to bring to the conversation. It takes her a long time to make new friends, if she makes any at all. She’s not a sheep and does not follow the public social norm. She’s not apologetic about who she is, but does not seem confident either.

Now you know how I perceive myself to be seen by others.

I have a slight fear that I may seem snobby to some people. New people, in particular. I’m just not that talkative. I’m not a chatty kinda gal. Now – hold it right there if you’ve known me for more than a year – this doesn’t apply to that scenario. I’m talking about having a conversation with the trainer girl at the gym one day. I don’t introduce myself. I don’t get her name. And then I barely have the gumption to smile and nod the next time I see her. I’m talking about going to a new church for several weeks or months and still feeling like a first time visitor because I don’t KNOW anybody there. I’m talking about having my students’ parents bump into me and start a conversation and I don’t have a clue as to which one they belong to. Or how about not taking my little girl to a classmate’s birthday party she was invited to because I was too chicken to surround myself with strange people? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

I’m shy.

Shut your mouth. I don’t care that you all that know me so well don’t believe me!

I feel I best fit the 2nd and 3rd definition as stated by the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

2 : disposed to avoid a person or thing
3 : hesitant in committing oneself

YES! I totally avoid new people, and I am completely hesitant in committing myself to growing new relationships. That’s it in a nutshell. I think I’m having a self-discovery breakthrough 🙂

Although I should be really good at making new relationships by this point in my life, I actually feel like it is getting more difficult with each passing day. A part of me is completely fine with this aspect of my life, but the other part is becoming increasingly lonely and in need of more social contact. It will be a hard habit to break.


I was born in Arkansas. We lived on a cattle ranch with no close neighbors for the first, oh, 7 years of my life. My only social activities were playing games with my older brother and sisters that usually ended with a bloody appendage or screams of sibling rilvary.

We moved. No relationships continued.

I was raised in my most influential years (4th – 9th grade) in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. All new people. All mostly really rich people. I slowly found my niche though, in that nerdy ole’ band room 🙂

We moved. No relationships continued.

I found myself in the very hot state of Louisiana in the middle of high school. That’s fun. I slowly convinced other band nerds that I wasn’t (completely) insane and established a good circle of friends.

I graduated. Only a prized few relationships continued.

All new circle of friends created in college. Slowly. I had the opportunity to develop some powerful friendships during my tenure at school. Great friends. Great roommates. Great memories.

I graduated. Facebook is the only glue for those relationships.

And this pattern continues…  neverending. My first job. Wonderful people, whom I will never see again. Church relationships. Gone. Bandmates. Gone. Failed neighbor relationships.  New students. New coworkers. New dentists. New bankers. I’m guessing maybe that’s why I like my Ob/Gyn so much – he’s the only one that’s stayed around for so long! And of course, my husband. My best friend.

I don’t know…  it just seems like it’s all so much work… for nothing. I’m not a snob, I’m just tired of saying goodbye. I’m tired of putting myself out there and exposing my true self, the beauty and the beast, all of it, and have it be for ‘naught. To have to start over and over again..

It’s all so very tiring.

And then I think to myself, what do I have to bring? What do I have in my life that I can give to this person that would make their life better? Do I need to make small talk just to fill the room with noise? Why should this person care what I think? Why is my life important enough that what I have to say matters?

Maybe I don’t feel like I’m worth the time it takes for you to have a conversation with me.

I don’t know. These thoughts have been rolling around in my head for some time now, though. Where do I put in the effort? The Man tells me that it doesn’t matter how long someone is in your life, or you in theirs, but to just enjoy the time as it takes place. That sounds like a good idea, but I don’t know if I believe it. I don’t want to have meaningless relationships with people, just as I don’t have 843 “friends” on my social-networking page. I want something substantial. I want every aspect of my life to mean something, and I want the people in my life to mean something to me.

But nobody stays where they are nowadays, do they? And why do I have a public blog where anybody and everybody can read it? I don’t even know some of you right now, but I’m telling you all that I have. I am really interested in your views on this subject, if you have any.

How do you encounter people that float in and out of your life? How do you want to be remembered by them? Please comment! 🙂


Author: blessmyheart

I'm like any other 30-something woman that works full time as a teacher, has two kids, a husband, 3 pets, and has battled cancer. ...among other things. I have things to say, sometimes. This is where I say them.

7 thoughts on “Perceptions

  1. first: You have a man ob/gyn???!! That is courage right there!! I always use women doctors 🙂
    Second: I am glad some moved on out of my life 😉
    Third: After years of people moving in and out of your life you learn lessons from them..some of things NOT to do..and some new ideas and how to act/behave. I think as a person you are Who you are do to your family and the people that float in and out of your life. I think all of us (sibs) have perfected the don’t let anyone close technique. I think we had to as a necessity to survive at different periods in our lives… I just think now that we are more or less settled and older we cannot or have problems undoing a survival method that we have perfected. 🙂 I know my good..good friends are the ones I can call after weeks, months, years of not talking and it seems like we just spoke yesterday… and the ones that won’t let me hide in my little world. 🙂

  2. Yes, I confess, I have a male “female doctor”. I didn’t know who to go to on my first visit and he was my best friends doctor. The first visit was weird, I admit.. but now after having two babies with him ;), he knows me better than most people.

  3. You know, you really shouldn’t write about me like this and pretend it is you…it isn’t very professional.

    What can I say…we are all slowly ebbing towards being like mom…social inverts. I have resigned myself to it. Correct that, I am gleeful and thankful for it. I HATED attending certain things because it was the right/normal/expected thing to do. Now, I relish my solitude. You will too when you learn you can still have friends and say no to their social outings. Give in to the dark side, Luke.

    I love you. I think you are amazing.

  4. I really enjoy reading your blog and learning things about you. Your cooking skills are amazing and I would love to sit at your table and try it all.
    I could have written a lot of these things if I had the ‘guts’ to and you are really an amazing person and don’t realize it.
    Making friends and leaving them behind when you finally do is hard. People will remember you as the precious person you are and you will be suprised in your old age to realize how well they thought of you.
    And Jaque spoke volumes in her reply.
    You have a lot of wisdom at a young age, embrace it, and continue to grow and learn and be thankful for those who make up your world at this time.

  5. Your first paragraph describes me to a T, just so you know. 🙂 Speaking only for myself, I realized I’m like that because I assume people will reject me. I still have a long way to go to fixing that…

    As to the rest of your blog entry, I personally have learned the value or simply reaching out first. To be the friendship instigator, even when I’m scared to death that I’ll be rejected. And to continue reaching even when the friendship isn’t reciprocated like I think it should be. Again, I’m speaking only for myself. I love the questions you’re asking, and you’ll figure out what is right for you.

  6. Pingback: Fresh! « Bless My Heart

  7. I found your blog a day or two ago and read the beginning post. Today, I have started at the beginning again and read through the months following. This is where I have landed at so far. I felt the need to respond even though you may have emotionally distanced yourself from where you were when you wrote it.

    For me however, this post speaks volumes. I understand only too well how difficult it is to emotionally invest yourself into a friendship that you fear will likely not last. It’s painful to have people that you care about to exit your world but yet it’s painful to feel lonely too.

    You are younger than me but I do remember being younger and dealing with a pair of small children. I didn’t have time to be a good friend because I was just too busy. Now, time has passed and my children are grown and have left home. It is now that I would cherish having a good friend nearby to shoot the breeze with. Relationships are hard. And hard work. I’m still not sure it’s worth it because the sting is still there if the relationship fails. That part hasn’t aged.

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