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I used to think most other people were happy and that there was something wrong with me that I wasn’t. As a kid it seemed most other kids were having fun, had confidence, and had ample friends while I was just kind of weird and was rather shy and otherwise awkward.

I suppose it didn’t help that, in my elementary school years when it was no longer mandatory for girls to wear a dress to school my mother refused to change with the times. Thus while my school mates now wore pants to school I continued to wear a dress each day. The teasing I suffered by dressing differently added to my already faltering sense of worth and otherwise low self-esteem; the latter two likely a direct result of the chaos and abuse taking place within the walls of my home. Thus it is, with a general fear of life and lack of confidence, I was definitely a struggling kid.

Thankfully despite all this I still had a few good friends and I had someone bigger and braver, at school, to stick up for me. And, with time my mom came to see how traumatic it was for me to have to be the “weirdo” by dressing differently than my classmates, so with my promise I would always wear “nice” pants to school she allowed me to begin wearing them. In that regard I expect I never let her down as it was then as it is to this day: I love classy, attractive, stylish clothing.

Starting in High School, I did occasionally dress in jeans, but mostly I wore dress pants with a blouse and high heels.
I only wish I could still run around all day so dressed up. It’s the feet that “kill” me now; sadly they no longer hold up under the pressure of three inch heels.

That aside, the thing I’ve come to realize in recent years is that there is not something inherently “wrong” with me that my life is not void of stresses and trials. Apparently everyone is dealt some storms in life, and, as the song goes, everybody hurts and everybody cries—sometimes.

Despite this fact, I try to stay fairly positive; something I find more do-able as I’ve come to better understand the purpose of life and the belief that God is real and Jesus literally came to earth to sacrifice his life on my behalf so that I can escape an eternity in Hell.

I live in anticipation and hope of eternity in Heaven where there is no more pain or sorrow or loss and I look forward to the peace and joy and beauty and love that Heaven promises.

But, sometimes, in the meantime, the stresses and struggles of life can still weigh me down and wear me out. Sometimes, like today, I just feel bone weary.

Maybe I’ll listen to the REM song again. I don’t know why, but it helps; maybe because it’s a reminder than I’m not alone. And I just need to “hold on”.

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