After I thought I was getting so organised with my blog, I came back from a 5 day trip away to realising I had nothing planned and nothing scheduled. There will be an Iceland post hopefully up this weekend, and I’m hoping for a lookbook next week (fingers crossed I manage this FINALLY) so I thought I’d treat you all to a nice, traditional Love Forty Down ramble of words and feelings.
Something I have struggled with ever since I was young, and something I am now coming to realise is probably part of my anxiety, is feeling left out. I have always found that I feel one step behind in everything I do, one step outside where I should be. These feelings can come at any point, and for many reasons. I feel left out when I’m with friends, with family, I feel left out in terms of what I’m wearing or what I’m doing or what I look like, I always feel like I’m a step behind.
If I’m walking with two friends, or two other people, I often find that I am the one walking slightly behind them struggling to keep up, and if I come around and join on the outside, I still just feel like a little kid trying to join in a conversation. I hate the feeling I get when two people start having a conversation and it’s not to me and I have nothing to contribute, because I feel so ridiculously stupid. Just like my panic attacks when I do something wrong or get criticised, I obviously internally associate these same feelings with being left out of conversations or events or anything.
Something that I also struggle with sometimes, that may seem completely different, but leads to very similar feelings, is about clothes, and how I look in them. I can feel absolutely great about what I’m wearing, and then suddenly get struck with doubts about whether I actually look good at all. I once drafted a blog post about how I don’t ‘feel myself’ in fashion a lot of the time, that I can’t bring together myself and my clothes, there is always a gap that causes me to dislike the way I appear in them. This is similar to when my ‘left out’ feelings really kick in, as I don’t really feel like myself, when I am desperately trying to feel included. It’s kind of like I’m a shadow in all these situations, that the Rhianna that can believe that she looks good, or that people want to see her or talk to her disappears almost, leaving a nervous, anxious shadow in her place.
I remember once I went on a two week trip to China with a group of people from my University and it was one of the first times I actually felt a part of the group that would be missed if I wasn’t there? I felt important and included and it was amazing, and then one night I ended up having a sort of half argument/falling out with the main girl I went around with, and all of a sudden, just like that, my anxiety reared its big ugly head and I had a panic attack in the toilets, because of immediately feeling left out. If I’m in a slightly rocky place, or if I’m very tired I will panic about many people in my life, and many things. Recently I worry constantly that my boyfriend will change his mind (this happened with my ex so it’s a grounded, if annoying fear), that my friends don’t want to see me, that my wardrobe is terrible (leading me to do a massive shopping spree to try and make myself feel better) and so on and so forth. It’s exhausting. I feel like my head never lets me rest, because I went away with my best friend and when we came back I felt better and more secure in our friendship than I have for a little while, I came back to my wonderful boyfriend, and then as soon as I went back to work I started to feel excluded straight away. And as soon as that feeling starts, I can’t do anything. If I try and act more confident and talk over it, the feeling just gets worse and worse until I just want to hide into myself, if you know me well you might recognise signs and symptoms of pulling my sleeves over my hands and picking at my nails.
I started thinking about these things last night on my commute home, and thought that really, life is just a series of being left out of things? You’re left out of jobs, of people, of opportunities, but there’s always another one to take its place. You know, when you’re a kid, you want to do everything you possibly can? You want to play 4 instruments, 5 sports, 3 clubs and be friends with everyone, but gradually you have to leave things behind or start being left out of them, because we just can’t function doing that much, so maybe growing up is just coming to terms with being left out? But then, in a sad way, growing up is also being left out of more and more? I must have about 20% of the amount of friends now in comparison to how many I had when I was 10, I have less skills and less knowledge, because I have to focus on more things, I have to be left out of more.
Will I always feel like this though? Will I also feel as if I’m one step behind everyone, one step behind where I should be, one step behind NOT feeling like this? Does anyone else feel like this sometimes?