I had no idea I was so insecure and fake until the end of my freshman year of college, when I moved in with some girls I barely knew and I began to be fully known.
They are the sweetest friends in the world— friends who have taught me to be real, and who never seem to be fooled when I act like I have it all together.
I have always been the type of person who had a big community of friends. For most of high school I tended to jump around different social groups, but rarely got really close to anyone.
I hate sharing my feelings.
I love to talk about deep subjects, have good conversations, to discuss other people’s problems, but as soon as I am put on the spot, I panic.
This usually came off to people as extreme humbleness and selflessness. “Sweet Hannah just always wants to listen to other people and never wants to talk about herself.”
It was a lie that fed my narcissistic insecurity.
It is hard having people really know you.
It’s easier to pick and choose the parts you want them to know— creating this perfect persona that’s unreachable, but ever so believable. I think we girls are all way better fakes than we realize.
It’s easy being in a big crowd pulling out those comfortable masks of security that no one has ever noticed.
It’s hard having someone call you out when you come home acting like a fake. It’s hard having someone see right through your accomplishments that are really just your desperate and obsessive striving for perfection and approval.
I can sit here alone in my bed with a candle lit and nothing but the sound of my heart pouring out in clicks on a keyboard. I can be vulnerable with you here… but it’s when I feel the need to impress and exude this perfect persona of positivity that the walls come up and the authenticity is buried deep inside- so deep that oftentimes I forget that it’s there.
There is such beauty in your mess; in your struggles and the things you think people will judge you for— the things in yourself that you judge everyone else for while they eat you up inside.
You shouldn’t share your deepest heart with everyone, but I think we all know which people in our lives are safe— it’s usually the people who are authentic with us.
I am thankful for friends who have been real with me, because they have changed me and my relationships forever.
I can’t settle for fake anymore; it feels so empty and shallow and unfulfilling. I want to be known— whether good or bad. That’s the reason I am here, pouring out my heart for anyone and everyone to see.
I’m sharing things with you that a few years ago I never would have dreamed of sharing with even a close friend.
I am still learning every day to drop the act. I’m still learning that honesty is more encouraging to others than perfection or positivity— but it’s always easier to convince my mind than the depth of my soul that bubbles up in my actions.
I’m still learning that I’m a mess and always will be, and that if I ever want to find joy I may as well accept it and love someone else in their mess- then we can all just breathe easy, looking up to the only one who holds the real perfection.
Listen to what my friend, (who I don’t actually know, but feel like I do after reading her blog in my most desperate moments nearly every week) Emily P. Freeman has to say:
“We may call it “people pleasing,” but it is entirely self-serving because it is really all about keeping myself comfortable. Boiled down, it could be more accurately called “me pleasing.
The story of redemption and healing is that Jesus came to exchange my not-good-enough with his better-than-I-could-ever-imagine. He came to trade my life for His, my weak for His strong, my ashes for His beauty. He longs for each of us to receive the gift of Himself.”
Hannah Johnson is a senior at the University of Memphis studying Spanish and Journalism. She loves kids, Spanish, writing and traveling. She regularly travels to Tegucigalpa, Honduras with Point of Impact, hanging out with 8 beautiful orphan girls, and working in some of the poorest neighborhoods. In the future she hopes to continue working with ministries in Spanish-speaking countries and sharing the stories of “the least of these.” Whether that means living abroad or working from home, she is excited to see what God has in store! Hannah loves girls, coffee dates, authentic conversations, and the beauty of watching God write each of our unique stories. Join her on Instagram, Twitter, and at Gracia Means Grace.