For the first 29 years of my life I was a pretty selfish person. I didn't intend to be selfish, I just was so wrapped up in my own little existence that I didn't have room to comprehend life as it was for anyone else.
My parents were my parents and they really had no life sphere that didn't include me. If they were happy or sad or fulfilled or disappointed, I don't remember.
I am shocked these days when I consider some of the things my friends went through while we were growing up. It's not that I didn't know what they were going through back then, it's just that I never really gave it much thought.
I missed a lot. I skated through. When I retell the stories of my youth, I often gloss over the details because I just don't remember them. This isn't because I have a bad memory...but it IS because I just didn't pay attention. I didn't see the point.
I have always been afraid to be close to anyone else. I used to think it was out of an effort to protect myself from hurt. But now, if I'm honest about it, I think it was more out of laziness and an effort to just "not get involved." If I didn't pay attention then I wouldn't have to REALLY admit that there were bad things in life. I could just glide through without any disruption of my little blissful utopia.
For a long time, I wasn't a REAL part of my own life. While I paid lip service to the importance of my family and friends, I wasn't really living that truth. I know I can be a better friend and a better daughter/sister/wife/mother.
All that time I felt disconnected, it wasn't because "they" made me feel like an outsider...but because I disconnected myself from "them" and didn't make the effort.
But now, I'm trying. For once, I'm really trying.