My parents went to great lengths to remind me of how wonderful I was every day. I knew that there was an unwritten rule somewhere that stated that parents were required to blow a requisite amount of sunshine up their children's rear ends. I was no fool. I was far from wonderful. However, my mission in life was to convince the world that I was the cat's meow. I did this by pretending to be someone who I was not. And it never worked. I was never popular and often unliked. Quite frequently throughout my childhood and adolescence, I found myself left out of various parties and get-togethers that my peers planned, unbeknownst to me. It became part of my identity.
As an adult, I have learned the value of transparency. I have learned that good parenting can result in a decline in popularity, particularly in my given set of circumstances. I now know that taking the path less traveled, but more authentic, may lead to loneliness and misery. Yet I refuse to compromise my truth, my genuineness, to be less alone.
Loneliness is hard. It's painful. But at the moment it is my choice and my path.