It's something that I've battled since I was twelve; whenever I would come home in tears from having a bad day at school (which during that time was fairly often) my mom always told me that "no one likes a depressed person." When I would be completely honest with my therapist/school counselor, she'd always ask "what's with all this negativity?" When I would talk to my friends about it, they didn't really know what to say (not that I'm blaming them in any way whatsoever). It got to the point where I felt like I was pushing all my loved ones away, so I decided that it would be better to bury my true emotions and just deal with things on my own.
Eventually I did learn to open up more, but only to certain people; over time, they became the only people confided in because they were good at listening and never passed any judgement in regards to what I told them. When it came time for high school, I decided to be happy no matter what because I didn't want to have a repeat of my middle school years.
Even today, both trust and authenticity are delicate issues for me. I've come to the conclusion that I'm extremely stubborn, and therefore incredibly prideful. I usually don't like asking for help (or unfortunately, even accepting help) unless I really need it. I don't want people seeing me and thinking "oh poor Aly." (On a side note, I think that pitying someone is rather useless if you're just going to stand there and be a bystander. But that's a different topic, one which I'll post about later) When I talk to my friends that go to different schools, I try to be as cheerful as possible because I want them to know that I've changed for the better.
In a nutshell, I do care what people think about me; not every single person, but the ones I'm closest to or have became close to. Deep down I know I can't control how others see me, but it's something that over a long period of time has become entangled in my own nature.
I'm slowly learning how to find a balance in joy and pain, as well as good days and bad. I know now that there are times where I need to swallow my own pride and allow people to give me a hand, because I cannot do everything alone. People change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst, but the ones that truly appreciate you for just being you will always be there. When it all comes down to it, it's not healthy to stuff everything under the rug. You have to let it out every once and awhile and allow people to be there for you.
So let me be real here...
If anyone were to ask me what I really wanted right now, it wouldn't be to triple fast forward DVR style to graduation day. Despite that I'm tired of being in a fishbowl (and in a uniform, no less) I want to be able to have time to "stop and smell the roses", if you will. I actually made a list of things I wanted to accomplish before then; but I guess it's not so much what I do, but rather who I'm with.
Life has been hard at times; I often experience bouts of loneliness, missing those that so often have made me laugh or put a smile on my face. I guess that happens when three of your best friends go off to college and the other one drops you like a hot potato. In all truth, I really hate that I haven't been hugged or given someone a hug in awhile. Yes, I realize how random and weird it sounds, but I've always been a bit of a cuddlebug. I used to hug people all the time, and now it's almost become a rarity. Deep down, I mostly want to be held for the sake of being held. Is that needy? perhaps so. But I think every once and awhile it's all right to ask.
In the midst of everything, I've begun to see who my real friends are. There's a saying of mine, where "people come in and out of your life, but the truest of friends are the ones that wait in the doorway." Granted, I don't see them very much since we go to seperate schools; yet I believe I've come to appreciate them very much because of it. Those are the ones that I'd like to spend my last couple of months of high school with. And then there are those who I haven't really talked to in awhile, and would love to reconnect with, even if it comes down to the remaining months of the summer.
It's hard to come up with an exact definition of what "being real" actually means. The way I view it, you just have to live and let be.