Admit it. You have a favorite number. Even if you don’t realize it, you do. I don’t know why, but we all do. A favorite number and an unlucky number.
My favorite number is 8.
Most people will never even notice, but I tend to use 8s every chance I get. It makes me happy. Why? Well, as usual with me, there’s a story. See, what had happened was..
My dad and his friends are…weird. I know. I know. You’re shocked that a weird person created this glorious fount of normalcy that you’re so used to. Crazy, right? But…anyways…one game that my dad’s best friend played for awhile was that he would assign everyone numbers based on their personalities. Couldn’t tell you what anyone else’s was, but mine has stuck with me since the day dumbass 12 year old Sheri asked, “Ooooh! What’s my number?!” He immediately responded.
“8? Why 8?”
“Because if you turn it on its side its infinity. And, just like you, it goes around and around and around and never changes.”
I was only a kid, but I was pretty sure that I should have felt insulted in that moment. I CHANGE, DANGIT!!!
You know what I’ve realized as I got older? No. I don’t.
I grow. Constantly. It is a life goal of mine to find ways every day to be better…do better…than the day before. I don’t like being stagnant.
But I don’t change.
No matter how much I sometimes wish I could.
I wish I could be harder, but I’m tender hearted. That doesn’t change.
I wish I could be less obsessive, but I live for rabbitholes to fall down. That doesn’t change.
I wish I could be less outspoken, but I’m passionate. That doesn’t change.
I wish I could be quieter, but the more I care the louder I am. That doesn’t change.
I wish I could be more outgoing, but people make me anxious. That doesn’t change.
I wish I could be more girly, but I’m a 12 year old boy at heart. That doesn’t change.
I grow…but who I am…it doesn’t change.
Lately I’m thinking a lot on this. Some people have questioned my recent social media hiatus. This…is the main reason…I’m trying to give my big ol’ 8 self time to truly heal. You see…
There’s a cycle in my life. I meet people. They think this person I am is great. Then they realize I am ALWAYS this person. That I don’t become more like them…that I’m not hiding parts of me that will make me feel safer and like I fit in their box…This personality…doesn’t turn off. They leave.
Generally it doesn’t affect me much. That sounds terrible, but when you had my childhood…you don’t expect anyone to stay…you don’t expect that they can love who you are long term. As usual, not a pity party. And not always true. But it doesn’t hurt when they leave because a part of you always knew they would.
There are one offs of people in my world who love every bit of me. And I cherish them more than they know. I still get scared sometimes.
But a few years ago I made a mistake. I ventured out of my shell and tackled those deeply ingrained beliefs as hard as I could. I forced myself to join a group…was NUMBER 8 all the way…and allowed myself to believe that they truly could love me. I allowed myself to believe that these people would still love me in a year when I was still exactly who I said I was.
They didn’t. Some of that is on me. Not all of my traits are awesome and some are downright exhausting. Some of that is on them. We all made the choices we made.
But it breaks my heart that…once again…they wanted anything other than the number 8. It breaks my heart to see pictures that used to include me, but no longer do. It breaks my heart that I believed…and their lives go on as if I never existed.
It’s not wrong on their parts. The world doesn’t revolve around me. Their worlds SHOULD go on as if I never existed.
But it hurts too much to watch…to the point that the nightmares usually reserved for my mom now include those people. And they hurt SO MUCH MORE to wake up from….because I always knew my mom didn’t love me, but with them…I allowed myself to believe.
And…until it doesn’t hurt that much…I’m FINALLY giving myself time to heal.
I’m FINALLY giving myself time to remember who I am.
I’m FINALLY giving myself time to remember…who I am is pretty awesome, even if it never changes.
I am 8. 8 is great. Like infinity, I’ll always be me.
Plus, if you cross an 8 and an ♾️, you get a pretty little flower. ❤️
One thought on “The (Sideways) 8”
But if you’re not on social media, how will anybody see pictures of the piece of cake you had for dessert last night?!?!?
Social media is tough. My haitus started back in 2017 at the advice of my attorney. He gave me a lot of advice that year, but that may have been the best of all of it. I keep Twitter around for a little random baseball conversation with strangers, and I watch my kids on Instagram; otherwise, I’m pretty anti-social online.
It sounds like we’ve had some similar experiences (through different circumstances, I’m sure) in finding out how terrible some people can be. Enjoy the friends and the people in your life now, and try not to focus on the past and the what-if’s. (Now that I think about it, it may have been you who gave me that advice…)
Also, I know we’re just internet strangers, but feel free to reach out if you need an unbiased friend or just a chance to vent a little bit.
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