“The party girl” has a negative connotation that I will admit I lived up to in high school. During my senior year I was particularly bad. I drank at parties and did some pretty inappropriate things. Fortunately for my family, I was great keeping this side of me from them. To them I was the perfect daughter. As I have shared many times, high school, overall, was awful for me. So in trying to fit in I alternated between playing the shy girl no one noticed and being the party girl that would try anything. Neither worked all that well for me. We will get to the shy girl another day!
As I got older and renewed my relationship with Christ, I could not continue partying the same way. I traded in my Party Girl mask for the Life of the Party Girl version. It was really more work to keep that one on. As the life of the party I hosted almost every get together, or at the very least planned them. I love planning parties and making people happy, but many times over the years I really just wanted to stay in my room and cry instead of pasting on a smile and joining the group. Because of my insecurities sometimes I felt so bad on the inside that I really did not want to be around anyone. I felt that everyone was judging me because of my weight and how I looked, whether they were or not. It was hard to act like nothing was wrong. What’s especially crippling about this mask is that when you act happy and fun all the time, no one lets you be sad. The second you let the mask slip and show that you are having a bad day, it’s like the end of the world to the people who rely on you to be the “sunshine” in their lives. When you can’t, they sometimes treat you even worse because they cannot accept or relate to you being anything other than the girl who’s always ready to party or is willing to throw one.
The good news is, as with the Perfect Daughter, I embraced this mask so well because it was something that really is a good part of me. I honestly enjoy planning parties and I’m really great at it, lol! You can even check out some ideas I have for parties and entertaining by clicking here. Over the years I’ve learned to embrace the part of my personality that loves planning and enjoying time with family and friends without hiding my true feelings or playing a role to fit in. I try now to let those I am closest to see that I am not always happy and ready to party. I also needed to find my own inner joy instead of faking it. Allowing myself to share that I’m down sometimes is a scary thing because you find out real quick who are real friends and loving family, and who just hung around you because of your party girl demeanor. It can hurt deeply when those friends and family distance themselves, and it may make you want to put that mask back on. Please don't! Your strong relationships will survive and be stronger when you begin to show your true self. And those are the relationships worth holding on to.
So this week I ask, are you masking your pain by playing the party girl or the life of the party girl? Is this mask getting you into even more trouble? Are you allowing those closest to you to see you when you are upset? Are you willing to let go of superficial relationships in your life and form deeper ones with those who truly care for you? What will you do to take the first step toward being the real you with those people?