>College: Memories of Insecurity

>Via Facebook, I just viewed pictures from Homecoming. Everyone looked so happy, friendships kept up with and enjoyed often. It stirred up old feelings and realizations. I don’t enjoy those college friendships because I never really got close to anyone andhat make me feel sad.

It was the plague of insecurity that reared its head there for the first time and has kept up its crippling attacks. People don’t see me as insecure. I can stand before large numbers and speak without nervousness. I am secure in my abilities. I can walk into a group of people and immediately make conversation that puts all at ease. Yet it is there.

I never felt like I fit in at college. Even though it was a small Christian college, I was the missionary kid from Africa; just a little bit different. I’d never been to a football game, found it childish to watch cartoons, was unfamiliar with the American teenager mentality and, though confident in myself, was untrained at anything musical, sporty or…..anything for that matter. I found their world a bit small and confusing. They found me different, maybe weird.

In Africa we didn’t ‘date’ so I didn’t know if a guy asked you out that it might mean he liked you. So I accepted every invitation and soon bore the scorn of the other girls. I was focused on returning to Africa as a missionary and that alienated me from many with broader dreams. I came with three pair of shoes and clothes that didn’t fill up the closet. Other girls, with clothes overflowing the drawers and storage spaces, came that first month asking to look at my wardrobe and the picture of my boyfriend. I thought it was because he was so good looking but in reality they could not believe I would actually date a black guy. I was proud to show them my room until I learned they just wanted to confirm rumors they had heard. Plus, their rooms were carefully decorated. I had zebra and snake skins on my wall.

That really didn’t bother me and there were plenty of incredible nice people but I just never knew how to get close to anyone. Graduation was a relief.

Yet, now, when I look at all these pictures, I wish I had developed stronger friendships. I wish I had felt more like them. They didn’t alienate me. I think I alienated myself.

I’m finally getting a grip of my insecurities and have overcome many obstacles. Pictures of Homecoming, however, brought it all back.


About shandaoakley

I am a MK and have lived most of my life in Thirld World Countries. This greatly influences how I think, speak and write. I love my husband of 25 years and my three kids, ages 18, 21 and 21. We recently moved to Southern California and have set up life back in the US. I love my home, friends, animals, teaching and mostly Jesus! I believe life is a choice so I choose joy!
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2 Responses to >College: Memories of Insecurity

  1. >Oh just recently felt that way also…the insecurity. I read "So Long Insecurity" by Beth Moore this summer…still working on it in my heart."Alienated myself"…wow, that is a word for me…I need to keep that in my emotional file.Thanks for sharing…and what an awesome life you had…such treasure by not being in the American mindset.

  2. >Hello dear Shanda. Thank you, once again, for your honesty and transparency! Like you (and me!) there are so many other women that, though the reasons may vary, are plagued in this way, and alienate themselves at times. The interesting contrast is that often, women like this are the very ones that are strong in many areas, and looked to as the examples for others. I think that demonstrates God's desire (strong daughters reflecting His power and grace) challenged by the enemy's desire (keep her insecure, isolated). It's awesome that, despite the plague, you have pressed on, and been a light of hope and encouragement to others. When I see you in community, I see there are so many that are drawn to know you, Shanda, and not to look in your closets but to learn from your faith, your heart, and to bask in your wonderful friendliness. I am blessed to be one of them. You could fill pages girl…time to make a new scrapbook! :)Love you!~K

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