Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not sure why.

I didn't have a lot of friends when I was a kid. It may have been because I was fat. It may have been because my mother forced me to wear saddle shoes and ankle socks. SO not cool. It may have been because I spent too much time with adults and I didn't speak kid very well. When I was about eleven or twelve I lost some weight, changed my name (from Patti to Tish), we moved and I took some control over what I wore. The first day of school I met a group of girls at the bus stop and suddenly I had a group. The next year my grade school district and my new middle school district merged. So in high school the halls were filled with the kids who never liked me and the kids who now did.
I've been remembering this time when I was at a football game with my new group and saw some girls who had tortured me as a kid. I turned to my new friends and whispered, "pretend that you like me." One of them looked at me quizzically and said, " but we do like you." I remember being so distracted by the need to prove my new found coolness that I barely took in the fact of her affection.
That pattern has repeated itself in my life. There have been times when I had more friends than I could keep up with and times when I spent most of my time alone. I'm in one of the alone times. I have many, many great friends. I mean really, truly, great friends. But most of them live far away. I have great neighbors and people I see all the time at the pool or when I shop. I've been in my neighborhood for a long time. But I don't feel like I can call someone right now and ask for a coffee or dinner date. Most people have jobs and families and modern life is just busy.
To some extent my aloneness is a choice. I feel the need for time alone. But I am aware of the number of friends who no longer call. A few years ago I had one friend tell me that she couldn't handle how hard my life was and no longer wanted to be around me. It was badly timed, abrupt and I never got over it. If I'd been calling her all the time moaning and groaning I might have understood.
That moment at the football game is still a part of who I am. I am aware of the friends I have. I am anxious and worried about the people who seem to not want to be around me.
I am a depressed person. I always have been. But I don't call people to moan and groan. The older I get the less willing I am to talk about it at all, with anyone. I smile and keep conversations focused on the other person. It's part of why I don't write.
This morning I pushed myself out the door and into the pool. I chatted with people. I came home and found a post card in the mail. I get very caved in and filled with self hatred but it doesn't take much to make me smile.

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