Friends and Belonging.

“I have no friends. I am friendless. No one likes me, and no one talks to me. Well, not unless they have to, or they want to pick on me. They call me a snob, and poke fun at my clothes, or my hair. I’m a snob because I don’t talk to anyone (I don’t know what to say so I don’t say anything at all), and I think I’m better than everyone (well, sometimes I do, because I don’t backstab or bitch about people, how can I when I don’t even talk?). I have one friend. But she has moved away, and we don’t talk as much any more.
I withdraw into myself, it’s easier that way. Better to be teased for not saying anything than what I do say”

If I could have written this when I was in high school, that is what it would have said. Sure girls are horrible, but boys can just as bad. Girls are cliquey, and can perfect the ostracising, boys are just nasty in their straight forward nature of saying it how it is. High school sucks, kids are mean. And some of them don’t grow up, or they do, but stay “mean girls” – we’ve all met them.

College was better. I had a great group of fiends, but as they lived in town and I had to travel, there was still a lot I just couldn’t be a part of. I dealt with that easily enough, I had a boyfriend and so weekends were full of doing other things. They were good friends, and we had some fun times. But did we stay in touch afterwards? No. We went our separate ways and I spose it means we weren’t real friends, or at least I wasn’t.

Friendships come and go. I heard somewhere that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a life time. I’ve had plenty of seasons, a few reasons (if I am to read those ones correctly) and one (at least) for a life time. I think 30 years is a good start to that. I hate confrontation, and try where ever possible to not get into one. I will run and not do anything before I confront you. Passive aggressive much!? But watch out if I do blow my top at you. Believe me, you will know I m not happy. I’ve had a few of those too. Make me nervous as hell, and feel sick, but knowing I am doing the right thing. Most of these are around because I would run head long into a friendship, it was an all or nothing thing, (like I am with most interests I persue), and of course it all falls apart rather quickly (the friendship that is). Somewhat desperate I think now.

I learnt my lesson. The hard way. And withdrew into myself. Back to the teenager who wouldn’t tall anyone. Who didn’t want to make friends in case they got hurt. I survived.
I became aloof, and would be reserved when it came to making new friends. We moved several times, and after another full on, gang busters friendship that fell apart (did I not learn my lesson? And I have since sorted it out and apologised) it took me several years of slowly slowly before I said ‘yes, we are friends’. I am vaguely still in touch with them, hubby is more so as he sees them on and off when he’s at work and our eldests’ still really close friends.

Why am I saying this?
In the last couple of months, (yes, it has taken me that long, we’ve been back for two years already) to find, know and feel I belong.
Because of my delightful friendship history I am wary of those who want to be my friends. Not wary so much, but unsure as to why they want to be my friend. What is it about me?
I first thought of this just recently when I was asked to a birthday dinner with a group of friends. Yes, I call them friends, we can catch up in the street and chat. But it’s more than that. It’s the size of the group, the closeness, and that they want me to join them.
I know it might sound strange, but once I got home after the dinner, I felt like I belonged. Really belonged. For the first time there were people who expected nothing from me, but me. They have no idea how much it meant to me (although some of them might now, if they read this). I never doubted their friendship, but was more wary about giving myself fully, too quickly. Last night cemented it for me.

This is a huge thing for me to say, and hubby aside, not many people know about it. It’s also not something I ever thought writing about, until recently I realised that at some point, I had to.

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And cause its playing on the radio as I write this, some lyrics from Brass in Pocket, one of my all time favourite songs.
Oh, ’cause I gonna make you see
There’s nobody else here, no one like me
I’m special, so special
(I got to have some of your attention, give it to me!)

Maybe a little narcissistic, maybe that’s just me.

(Photo comes from this link)

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16 responses to “Friends and Belonging.

  1. Personally, I’ll always be willing to count you among my friends, Jennifer. Always.

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  2. I moved a lot growing up too– its hard to hold onto friends when you’re younger if you didn’t grow up with them. I too have had a lot of friendships fall apart over the years for a number of reasons… for my I find the best friends are the ones you can not talk to in a year and pick up where you left off like you were never apart. They are people–like you said– that expect nothing of you, they just love you being. My goal as I get older is to make a better effort to keep the long distance friendships I have made. Most of my friends live in different parts of the country or the world today and I am making it a point to visit all of them in the next few years. After all they did all come for my wedding this pas summer– now I want to make sure its a another 5 years before i see them again. It takes effort but for those really good friends, its worth it. Great post!

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    • My oldest frond is like that, we can go for ages without talking and then catch up easily. It can be hard to keep track of, and in contact with, friends when you are all over the world, but they can also be the best ones.
      It’s a great goal to want to visit them all in their respective states/countries and certainly something worth planning for. I wish you all the luck.
      Thank you 🙂

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  3. This definitely makes sense to the professor.

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  4. I can so relate to this. -hugs-

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