I am a grown man, 25 years old, doing what I love for a living.

Yet the ghosts of my past still haunt me. The insecurities, the experiences that I wish I could forget...

They are like those relatives you like the least. They seem to be the ones who visit the most, stay the longest, and eat all of the good cereal.

For me, it is this feeling of being unwanted.

I'm being vulnerable on this rather public forum, but in a vague way, so that you can relate to what I am feeling without being creeped out or concerned by annoyingly personal details. Suffice it to say that there are many reasons for me to feel unwanted, many events in my life that have taken years of healing to overcome.

However, the feeling I get the most lately, the ghost that seems to be around every corner, finds it's origins on the playground. Lately, I've felt like the "last one picked" in a playground game of football, the one that no one really wants on their team.

I was always better than the other kids picked among the last, so I tended to do well because of the awkward people assigned to me, whatever the game was. I took pleasure in showing the other team what they were missing, but in my heart I just wished they would have picked me sooner.

It's funny, because here I am 15 years later, and I am still sensitive when I feel the sting of being the odd man out. I still find that those old insecurities want to paint my world in shades of grey, and those old ghosts try to convince me that nothing has really changed, and that I am still not good enough to be...

Well, insert whatever applies to you, because the point is this... the ghosts aren't real.

I used to be scared of ghosts. I used to see something wicked in every darkness, and something sinister in the unseen. It took a long time (in fact, about 12 years) for me to realize that there was no ghost in the other room, and nothing wicked in the darkness.

Just the same, today I find myself needing to learn that I am far from the last one picked. Today I find myself realizing I am in a place few others have the opportunity to see. Today I see that God chose me, and not just because there was no one left. Today I see that I am very rarely the last one picked, that I am surrounded by friends and love beyond my best expectations.

But every once in a while, I will be the last one picked. It's alright though...

... it's just motivation.

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