Re-listening to this (So maybe you should too, to be on the same emotional page while reading what was written to it) and feeling nostalgic, grateful, and looked after:
I have felt recently like I’m being topped up regularly with certain feelings, and tapped on the shoulder by others, (That tiger has been pawing at my back again, I have to admit) like a glass of warm milk, with shoulders.
I am ever grateful for the friends I have who are staying, compassionate people who remain present in my life – something I don’t feel with a great number, but really appreciate when it’s there. I am starting to feel for the first time since moving up to York in 2005 that there just might be people in the North who understand me as well as those in the Forest of Dean. Maybe it’s just the amount of time I’ve spent here now; perhaps I’ll have to gradually assimilate into each and every environment I want to feel settled and homely in, over the same amount of years (A third of my life each so far.)
Maybe I’m getting softer, happier, stronger all at once, finally, since the adjustments of preconceptions that uni life brought about, along with the eighteen months of confusion and loneliness left in its wake. That’s a nice thought. To get back to myself, as I see me.
As well as, and perhaps leading to, noticing constant friends, I am very aware of my habitual proximity to fair-weather ones. Sad and petty as it sounds, I have always had lonely Summer-holiday birthdays where everyone forgets my party and goes on holiday, or friends that are bullies and don’t leave me alone until they find something worse to do, which is to leave me alone completely, and friends who seem wonderful and kindred, but then leave you in this non-mutual state of limbo with just the wonder left. Like temporary but haunting crushes.
What is the cure? What am I doing wrong? Am I hankering after people who I don’t fit with? Trying desperately to make my relationships work 100% of the time, and not acknowledging that sometimes, you just don’t have that kind of connection. Is that cause to give up on the people who don’t text you back, or prioritise you? At least, to stop putting in more effort than they are, and only allow yourself to care and to respond when they are. But that’s the problem, isn’t it? I can’t just shut off the caring part. I either love and appreciate someone, and want to spend time with them, or I don’t. Yes, there is room for elbows, and when it comes to boyfriends it’s a bit different – we are allowed on and off periods, keen and quiet. But I want something of the same kind of independence when it comes to friends. I don’t want to have to chase people like neglectful or uninterested lovers, or to suffer the sporadicness of moods when I don’t feel I’m close enough yet to the person to see past those moments of rejection. Where I come from, you have to earn that right. You have to be able to laugh at someone in an argument. Including yourself. Or else, you’re in dangerous territory, and it will most likely end in tears.
Which reminds me of something my mum once told me; girls seek boys that will have fights with them in the same way those girls had fights with their siblings when they were little. My brother (three years younger, but you couldn’t tell – he got the brains, the face and the spirituality) and I fought a lot, and (not but) it was always over trivial matters. Which bowl and spoon we got to use at breakfast, (Only the yellow plastic one and the wooden handle would do) which programme stayed on the TV, (Never my choice, obviously) who got to swing more times between Dad’s legs before leaving for school (I suppose when you’re seven and it’s not just your hair sweeping the floor but the length of your arms, you could possibly have better games to play.) And we kicked and shouted. But we laughed as well. At ourselves, and at each other, and it was wonderful. We had a good little scream and got everything out, and then relaxed. We allowed ourselves that space and time to be ridiculous.
And no one told me that this wouldn’t automatically transfer to men in the real world. That I would have to explain myself.
And that’s enough on that train of thought for now. For now, I wish you well and happy, and maybe a few spiritual enlightenments, and take myself to a peaceful, well-earned bed.