I have written before about how my journey has taken me away from people who used to hold important places in my life. This last week I made it my goal to get back in touch with people who I believe are going to be positive influences in my life but with whom, for various reasons, I have not made much effort to maintain regular contact.
First I had dinner with P. She has been a constant background presence in my life. One of those people who you know will always be there for you, but who you can go for 12 months without speaking to and it’s not weird. I met her in primary school and we’ve been through some serious stuff together.
We talked for a long time about the ways our lives have been hard, about how we’ve tested the boundaries of acceptable behaviour, about the mistakes we’ve made and about what we want now and where we want to go in the future. I was so pleased to hear that she is feeling exactly what I’m feeling right now – that what I want is friends who are normal, boring, settled down.
I also had coffee with S. I met S randomly when she took up a vacant room in a sharehouse I lived in for several years. I had always felt that S was essentially too normal to be friends with me. Not conservative, not judgemental, just normal. We lived together for nearly 3 years but when she moved out I left the relationship on the backburner. I felt like I was too weird for her to want to know me.
I am so glad that I made the effort to contact S, she is a beautiful soul with a lot to give to a friendship. She is insightful and genuinely seems to think I’m worthwhile, something I need more of in my world.
I guess this comes back to the idea of deserving normal friends that I wrote about last week. I’ve always felt like an outsider, ever since I was a child. I tended to stick with people who were a bit weird, a bit awkward, other social outcasts because I thought I would find acceptance and love there.
What I am now realising is that I was making myself an outcast. I was pushing people away. I didn’t like myself so I was always surprised when other people liked me. Sometimes I am still surprised, but I’m learning to like myself more and accept peoples’ affection with each step I take.