a word of encouragement

I want to be me and I want that to be enough. Have you ever looked at a girl and thought, "I bet her life is amazing. She's pretty, sweet, and everyone loves her. I wish I could be more like her"? Of course you have! Why? Because it's in our nature to want to be better, but often times we confuse being better with being different. We were never intended to be different in the sense of losing our true selves, but merely changing the faults we may have in order to maintain a healthier self image of ourselves.
I often question who I am. I catch myself more often than not, trying to see myself the way others see me and because of that perception, I attempt to alter who I am to make myself seem more appealing. For instance, when I'm in a crowd, I usually don't talk a lot right off the bat, I like to be engaged and observe people, so to others I may appear shy or even stuck up, so I try and change to become more outgoing so that people will see my true colors immediately. 

I don't always want people to see who I am right away. I know this may sound strange, but for me, it's a privilege when people open up to me. It's a privilege to know who they truly are and not some facade that they put up for others to see. It's a privilege to know the heart of a person; why they say what they say or do what they do, to truly understand them as a human being. I don't want to give that away all willy nilly! I want people to have to work for my friendship, wow that sounds weird! I only mean that if someone wants to get to know me then they should try and get to know me. I don't want to throw myself, so to speak, at them to try and convince them that I am the kind of person who they should be friends with. I have a very small circle of true friends. I have acquaintances and friends, but true bosom buddies if you will, are hard to come by. 
I'm not closed off to friendships, by any means! I love making new friends, I love getting to know people and I value all friendships that I have. However, there are only a select few that have the privilege of seeing me at my worst and thus deserving to see me at my best. True friendships are not only lasting, but ever enduring. Knowing who I am, where I've been, who I once was and who I hope to be, these are all things that take time and trust to share. Does that make me a closed off person?? Maybe. I know I've struggled with being more open and this little blog has truly helped me grow in this area. The fact that I'm even sharing this... 
So what is the purpose of this anyway? Are you like me or do you find yourself always shining, as the center of attention. Do you feel like you sometimes have to change who you are, simply to gain approval from those around you? A friend accepts you for who you are. I'm pretty sure that's on a hallmark card, but I like it. I like who I am, even though I'm not the chattiest with strangers, or take a while to warm up to, I have a genuine love for people and I value the friends that God has placed in my life. Take time to say thank you to your friends, for loving you inspite of who you are, and remember that you never have to live up to anyone's expectations but your own.