Monday, September 11, 2017

Alone Amongst Friends

Esther asked me this question in my "Ask Me Anything", and my answer was so long that I decided to make it its own blog post.

This is for everyone, though.

Advice to those who feel alone, even amongst friends:

I am oh, so familiar with this situation. So, a little bit of background. In the church group I was part of for the last 9 years before I moved, this was a constant thing for a while. When I first moved there, it was all fine and fabulous; I was thrilled to have girls my age where in the last group there were only boys. There were several of us that were all pretty good friends, and I felt like I fit in. Then we got older, and at a certain age the girls would move up to the next group. I was very close to the youngest, so that was the beginning of the problem. I was behind in the younger group, and the other girls were all super close, in the older group. I naively thought that once I joined them it would all be well again, and we'd all be the jolly bunch we were before. Naturally, I was wrong.

You see, I was different. I always had been, and it was becoming clearer. Not all the differences were good, but some were.

One particular difference was that each other girl, at an unnecessarily young age I might add, had themselves a "boyfriend". Me, I've never had one of those things and I don't want one just yet, thank you very much. But here another difference came to view, too. I was pretty darn tactless. And pretty naive. (I may as well add here that I was the only homeschooled one of them all; take what you want from that. :D) I was, frankly, a little "goody-goody" and not very polite about telling the other girls they shouldn't have boyfriends. I don't really blame them too much for telling me "who cares" and "shut up", and I really am not surprised that I was pretty pointedly excluded from the group and definitely from conversations after that.

Of course, I felt dreadfully alone. And among those who were supposed to be my friends. 
Around this time, however, I made a couple of other friends with girls my age who shared my view of things in many ways, and we became very close. Since then I have made many good, uplifting, kindred spirit friends.

That isn't exactly the solution, though; not the whole solution. Though I do 100% recommend finding friends who really make you feel like you belong.

So, of course, part of not feeling alone, and feeling like you belong, is fitting in. And I think we all have a natural desire, at least a little bit, to fit in. Right? We want to belong. I don't know what your situation is, but in my situation at least, fitting in would require lowering my standards. In dating, as well as in things like clothing and music. I was faced with a choice: fit in, or keep my standards where I wanted them. It. Was. Hard. Until, over time, I realized something.

I don't want to fit in. 
Standing out is not a bad thing.

And once I realized that I realized that, things began to change. I realized that even though I didn't agree with the other girls' decisions, I could find other things to talk about with them, and still be friends with them, and such.

And you know what? Those girls, those same girls, are some of my very best friends in the entire world and I love them all with all my heart. I cried to move away from them. 

Now. I can't promise that this will happen for you. I certainly can't. And I don't know your situation. But to sum up my advice, I have two things:

One, find people with whom you feel you belong. People who make you feel loved. 

Two, know that it's okay to not fit in, and instead of focusing on fitting in focus on how you can be friends with and love people just the same. If that makes sense.

I wish you all the best, my dears. And if you're ever feeling particularly alone, feel free to email me. My email is over there on the sidebar. I love you all, darlings! My heart goes out to all of you who have been or are in this situation. Keep smiling.


  1. Ah this.
    Just after Christmas (as in, two days) last year eleven teenaged kids from a mission trip my elder sister went with to Poland for a month came to where we live for a Christian conference. It was a jam-packed four days of awesome, but I couldn't help feeling so alone among them.
    They were SUPER nice and welcoming, and we got along wonderfully but... there was this constant divide.
    The same with some friends I've known for around 5 years now, who are missionaries same as me.
    Same with my cousins.

    And I hate this. I want to connect with each of them in a personal level. I want to be there for them, and I want to love them and I want to hang out and have fun like friends should.
    But this barrier lies between us and I cannot cross it no matter how hard I try.
    I hate it.
    It's so so so hard not to want to fit in with them.
    The common denominator (I'M SORRY I USED A MATH TERM, BUT IT'S THE ONLY THING I COULD THINK OF TO DESCRIBE THE SITUATION DON'T KILL ME PLEASE) here is that they have all been to public schools at some point in their life, for one. The other is that they have more liberties than I do. Now, don't get me wrong! I am glad that my parents have raised me (and are STILL raising me) the way they have. I am glad that they have rules and there are things we just can't do.
    I know they are for our own good, and I am so grateful.
    But other parents don't have these rules in place, and let their kids do a lot of what they want to do.
    And that also separates us.

    Sometimes I feel like if I just act like them, I'll be closer to them. But I don't want to.
    I want to be myself!
    Whoever "myself" is.

    Anyway. Your advice is so good, and thank you so much for writing this up!
    It is hard, but friends like you, my dear, help me to keep going. Keep smiling.
    Thank you so much.


    1. Ohhh, yes, Esther. I know. I do. I know. I'm sorry. I really don't know what other advice than what I said.
      Agh. That is all really rough.

      I know just what you mean! Exactly.

      You can do this, Esther, you can do anything. Good luck to you, my dear!
      Love you!


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