The following post is written by Christina LaPlaca, a high school student and part of the Honors Mentorship Program at Forsyth Central. Today Christina shares part of her story of the feeling left out and how she is overcoming it daily. Our hope is that this article will encourage you to not give up!
Sometimes, life just isn’t fair. We go throughout our day, dotting our I’s, crossing our T’s, and tying loose ends up. Somehow, though, nothing in our power can force every piece of the puzzle to fit together; sometimes, things just don’t fall perfectly into place. This truth is especially apparent in the youth of today. Between the towering standards society has built for us and the lack of sleep we are all fatigued by, nothing seems to sort itself out. In the end, we feel as though we can only lean on others, like our friends and family, to make us strong. What happens, though, when we feel abandoned? What happens when our friends don’t invite us places, sit with us at lunch, or even acknowledge us? Sure, most people would simply tell us that they aren’t our real friends, and that we should move on. While they may largely be right, the fact of the matter is, everyone feels left out; everyone feels ignored. Whether you’re a twelve-year-old girl, cowering from friends as you trudge through the halls of your middle school, or you’re a mom coping with your child’s heartbreak, the edge of acceptance, or lack thereof, touches each and every one of our hearts, pushing us to our limits. Even though we know that we should just “let it go”, that mantra is, at its simplest, easier said than done.
Take myself, for example. While I may seem like the girl who has it all put together, the girl that has the world at her feet and can accomplish anything, for most of my life, I’ve felt alone. Even though I’m involved in so many sports and activities, even though I make the grades, even though I seem to have all of the friends in the world: I still feel disregarded and alone sometimes. Maybe it’s because I’m too loud, or too annoying, or even “too Christian”; whatever the case, I’ve been plagued with this whirlwind of stagnation since elementary school, and it does not seem to want to sweep on past me any time soon. I guess that it’s just the way the world works: it’s in our nature to leave others out, whether we realize it or not. I’ve always felt as though I am on the outside looking in, watching as everyone else fits into their societal mold, while in their eyes, I was just a wallflower. Nowadays, I tend to think of this experience as one that God has intentionally and lovingly put me through. It has not only opened my heart to others, so as to help them to feel more accepted, but it has also helped my confidence to grow in strength. Through the years, I’ve found myself putting more faith in Jesus rather than people or fleeting worldly desires. And, while this may seem cliché, these blazing fires that the world has put me through has helped mold me into the person I was truly meant to be.
The real tragedy, though, is that the negativity and depression that accompanied my situation isn’t a rarity. Young men and women all around me feel the same pressures and the same distance. Rather than making connections, they are breaking down within themselves. From the lack of Instagram likes or Snap Chat streaks to the invitation that got “lost” in the mail, everyone feels this panging loneliness. Girls in my youth group or friends at school always share these grievances with me, and frankly, I’m floored. It’s as though no one is immune, and there seems to be no way to stop it. Even the girls who are leaving people out are feeling that same separation that they inflict! It has such an impact, that the mothers of these children don’t even know where to turn to or how to cope with the situations: their babies are hurting.
Even though this issue is one that is so pertinent to almost everyone in our immediate society, it’s also just as difficult to understand. Why do people have to be so rude, so unkind and judgmental? Quite frankly, I don’t have an answer for you. One thing that I can say, though, is to never give in to the hurt that may tower over you. For me, my shining light was The Word that Jesus came to give; it lead me through my dreariest days and brightened the sun on my happiest. Find someone or something that gives you strength, and don’t let the loneliness get to you. And no matter what, know that you are worth much more than the leftover time one person may have to give. In my opinion, the Son of Man died so that you could know Him, so I’d say that makes you pretty worthwhile.
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Christina LaPlaca is part of the Honors Mentorship Program at Forsyth Central High School. She recently shared some facts about herself. You can read that article here.
To learn more about Christina and our other contributing writers, click here.