My mom once told me of an experience she has while she was expecting me. Someone asked her what I would be named and she replied; "Emily." The person asking said; "Oh don't name her Emily. Emily's tend to be wallflowers." My mom thought; "No child of mine will ever be a wallflower, so I'll name her Emily anyway."
As it turns out, I'm a wallflower.
I remember being very shy as a child. Sometimes ridiculously so. It didn't help that we moved a lot (21 times in 21 years!)which made it hard to find the motivation to "invest" in a relationship, knowing we'd be moving again soon. I focused on being friends with my family (and my siblings are still my 3 very best friends!). I have always gotten along well with people, I'm just slow to let them in.
Several years ago, I had a lot of friends. I was social and busy with "social activities" 5 or so days a week. Someone commented that I was a "social butterfly," which was the weirdest term I'd ever heard used to describe ME. It was fun and I was happy. I'm not sure how I went from "wallflower" to "social butterfly" in a matter of months, but it was fulfilling in a very new way.
I then had an experience that resulted in a loss of all trust. I pulled away from everyone. I completely withdrew and quickly built walls all around myself. It was the only way I knew to protect myself from being hurt again.
Last week, I realized it has been four years since I had that experience. I have long since forgiven those that hurt me and I've repaired my relationships with them. In fact, we're close friends again. However, I still have walls all around me and I honestly have no idea how to tear them down.
Don't worry, I DO have great friends, I just don't ever do anything. I want to break out of my hermit shell a couple times a week. And I want to find ways to let others in more easily. The life I want for myself is not the one I'm living and the only way I can get there is to break those walls down.