Saturday, May 8, 2010


When I was younger, I had very few good friends. I never felt like I quite was "wanted" as a friend. Friends would make plans, and I would wonder if I would be invited. Everyone seemed to have a clique of their own, and I was the floater. It meant I was never part of the core group. Don't get me wrong, I had some very good friends, but I envied those groups that were complete within their members...impenetrable.

In an attempt to find my own clique I happened across a few fake friends... it was a high school desperation thing...I didn't want to be alone.

When I was in grade 9, I got chased into the 2nd foor bathroom by two girls who called me a friend the day prior. I never could understand how a) girls could be so cruel, and b) how quickly they turned. I remember being in that bathroom, standing on the toilet, shaking from head to chest heaving, my blood racing, the tears welling. "You're fucking dead" is what they said to me when I walked out of the gym that day. I had done nothing wrong... they were just mean girls. Over the next few days it resolved itself, although the three of us were never friends again. But the damage of that day stayed with me for a very long time. I learned that day that you couldn't trust anyone.

I haven't always been the best friend I can be either - absolutely not. There are lots of things I regret doing - short cuts that were obvious, gossip that came full circle, disloyalty, and occasionally a very disappointed friend. This was mostly in my 20's - and those days I am not proud of in many respects. I have seen friends walk away, and in hindsight, I can't say I blame them. It was difficult with me...I was insecure, nervous, scared to be somewhere I didn't want to be...scared to trust. I bailed a lot.

One day a friend said to me, "You're a total bailer." I remember it felt like a slap in the face, but at the same time I knew she was right - I WAS a total bailer. Hey, the truth hurts. But then I set out to prove her wrong. Now I'm committed - if I say I'm going to be there, I'll be there. Unless I'm ill - and I don't lie about it.

Social anxiety plagued me for years, and to a certain degree it still does. There are some people and some situations that still rattle me - not my close friends - but more the acquaintances I've met along the way. This city is tough and everyone's trying to be "perfect", why I don't know. It's total bullshit, but it's how this city runs. I hate small talk and it's those "so what have you been up to?" situations that rev my anxiety. And I don't know about you but there are days I am just not "on" and on those days it's hard for me to snap out of it.

It's taken me a long time to get to this point and I realize now that I have great friends. No one's going anywhere and I truly feel the friends I have now will be the friends I have for life. I feel like people get me now and that I've tapped into something special. I realize I don't HAVE to be a perfect friend anymore...I just have to be a friend. I especially relate to my friends who can admit their faults and issues in life. The ones who don't act like everything's always rosy - 'cause let's face it - everyone's got their own crap to deal with.

I'm happy now with this part of my life - and I've worked hard to get here. The ones that mattered, I didn't let get away...the ones who chose to walk away, would have done so eventually, even if I had tried to stop them.

Sure there's always room for improvement but I promise to be less hard on myself. Maybe that's the key right there - maybe I just need to be a better friend to my self, in order to be a better friend to others.

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