I never made it through an entire sleepover as a kid.
I made it through the fun parts: the pizza eating, cupcake making, Disney movie watching parts. Then, when it was time to change into pajamas and stretch into the sleeping bag, I wanted out. I called it quits. I asked the friend to ask their parent to call my dad to have me picked up. I made a lot of friends cry because of this. I ruined a lot of friendships because of this. One time, post-sleepover fail, a girl’s brother made fun of me at school the next day calling ME the cry baby in front of all the kids in my grade. That wasn’t true. I never cried. I just wanted to go home.
I was never invited to a sleepover again.
Last night, I dreamt that I was at a 100+ person sleepover. Every single friend I had ever had in my life was there. But they weren’t happy I was there. And I walked around the sleepover and I pepped talked myself and I said Jen, stick through it. Stay the night.
But just like old times, I found a phone, I called my dad, he came within the hour.
My mind is trying to tell me something. Perhaps it’s saying when you’re uncomfortable, you leave. When you’re scared, you stop. When you fear rejection or people not liking you, you locate the nearest exit sign and you do the Macarena through it.
Maybe it’s time to stay until the sun rises, to dance in the corner alone – in a room of people who don’t understand you, to press send on those emails even if it’s a no. To find ways to get through, not over, the things that bring you the most anxiety.
This morning, I asked A. to take my picture. “I had THAT same dream last night. I’m ready to talk about it.”