Stand Out

When is it that we become truly aware of the people around us? You know, the moment when we really start to pay attention to the personalities/habits/quirks/ways of others and how they all mesh together in the world?  Is it when we’re born or when we start talking? The first day of kindergarten?  The 2nd semester of college?  What about the first time our heart is broken?  For me, I’d say it was my 25th year of life.
Let me start with a bit about me:
Up until college I didn’t care much about anything other than my smaller circles of friends – my church friends that also went to school with me plus a few acquaintances here and there.  In college, my first two years were spent getting used to college and my last two years were spent with a primary focus on my boyfriend back home.  The year after college was focused on waiting for my ring and finding a new job, preferably the one that makes my student loan payments worth it.  Life wasn't extremely exciting, but I was living in a bubble of happiness and everything seemed to go my way.
3 years later and I have a job which pays less than I owe Campbell University in a year.  My heart was broken twice and a new me emerged in my 25th year...and that’s when I started to learn.  For the first time in my life I am single, (somewhat) confident, on my own and outside of my comfort zone more often than not.  I have gone from one eye opening moment to another.  I have been blessed, confused, excited, used, loved, forgotten, remembered and used.  Stepping out of my comfort zone has exposed me to many people with personalities from one extreme to another and from different walks of life.  This is when I became aware of the people around me, popped my “perfect life bubble” and stepped out.
Call me na├»ve, call me innocent, stupid if you will, but I had no idea of the reality of which many live in before now.  Unfortunately my post today comes from a recent realization of the negative aspects of my surroundings.  People are liars.  They lie to make themselves look better, they lie to hide who they are and they lie to get what they want.  People use each other—emotionally and physically just to fulfill their selfish desires.  People are taking advantage of one another and manipulating them because they know they can.  Relationships rarely seem to be about mutual feelings and shared interests anymore.  Again, I may be naive but I had no idea how many people (especially at my age) are only looking for sex.  People are playing games.  Relationships are the least of anyone’s worries and honesty is thrown out the window.  What happened to being intentional?  Friendships are less important and selfishness is prevalent.  Work is all that matters to some.  Money is all that matters to others.  Enough is just not enough.  Everyone is afraid  to take chances and less and less people are trusting God.
What am I doing with this newfound awareness?  Trying to figure out where I fit amongst the chaos.  I do know that things like this have been going on since the beginning of time and I do know that there is forgiveness, redemption, "peace love and happiness" in the world..(and I very much still have lots of it!) but I’m seeing things through different eyes now, and believe me:  It’s making me stronger. 
I want to standout among the crowd.

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