What I Learned About Myself While Traveling With My Friends
A few weeks ago, I went on an epic adventure to Havasupai with two of my friends for my 30th birthday. Now these are two of my newest friends. I met them both after moving to North Carolina so I've only known one for a little over a year and the other for about six months. Traveling like this with two new friends isn't exactly something I'd normally do but I just vibe with these two and knew we'd have an amazing time.
So we flew into Vegas, grabbed our rental car and headed straight to get supplies then off to sleep at the trailhead. Grabbing supplies took a little longer than we expected (the Shake Shack pitstop was probably the reason but necessary!) so we ended up driving pretty late at night. And if you've ever driven in Arizona on Route 66 after sunset, you know it gets DARK and the road we had to turn onto from Route 66 is notorious for animals in the road at night.
So needless to say, we were all tired and needed to keep Jenna (the driver) awake. So basically we needed to tell stories... lots and lots of stories. Any random story that popped into my head, I started to tell.
But apparently I always add a caveat to my stories because they teased me about this the entire trip. I never realized I did this but I do and it was usually some form of "you guys are going to think I'm crazy" or "I hope you're still friends with me after this".
It was all in good fun and a joke for the entire trip (and now) but on the plane back to NC, I turned to Amber and said, "When Jenna gets back, remind me to tell you a story about my ex's friend that dated a flight attendant. Not that it has anything to do with her being a flight attendant but it's funny." To which we joked about my little caveat and then Amber asked me, "Do you think you do that because of your past relationship?"
I was floored because the answer is 100% yes. I just thought it was a little quirk I had never noticed about myself but in reality, it's still a subconscious copping mechanism of seeking approval.
I spent almost five years of my life with someone that put me down a lot. They were rarely outright put downs which I think in my case contributed to me developing copping mechanisms I didn't even know that I developed... this being one of them.
Since these two are still fairly new friends, I think I've still been subconsciously seeking their approval. Simply put, I like them and want them to like me so we can still hang out... which clearly they do or we wouldn't have gone on a trip like this together.
So while I've made a ton of progress in building my confidence and self-esteem, I clearly have some work to do to get rid of this insecurity I still have lingering.. But continuing to work on yourself is exactly how you become the best version of yourself, right?
PS Can we also acknowledge how cool it is to have a friend kindly mention something like that to help you grow into a better person? This is why you surround yourself with positive, amazing people.