Finish the Sentence Friday is BACK! Actually, it’s been back for a while – shaken down, restructured and just as awesome as ever. But I wasn’t ready to be back yet. Now I am. I hope.
When I was a kid, I really believed that…
…to be fair, when I was a kid (and different stages of kid, at that) I believed an awful lot of silly-funny things. I’ll run you through a few, so you have an idea (I’ve written about them before, but you’ll have to hunt if you want a fuller story because they aren’t the point):
- That if I dug far enough in the vegetable patch, I’d get to Australia.
- That my super-snazzy new trainers would allow me to hop lightly onto the point of a nail and leap gracefully off.
- That toilets were the enemy, apart from the mostly-safe one at home.
- That there was a monster under my bed who was only there when I got out to use the bathroom in the middle of the night
- That my best friends were the ones I made up.
Fortunately with time and maturity, I’ve come to see the folly of my ways, and have amended my thinking. Geography would lead me to believe that if I dug straight through the world (with my little spade), I would hit China, not Oz. Experience suggests that dumb ideas involving jumping on pointy things ends in hospital. Common sense and distance from toilet-trauma lead me to believe that toilets don’t tend to take vendettas. I’m far too tired to bother about monsters under the bed any more, and would probably welcome the excuse in the morning – “Sorry, I can’t make it to Real Life today – I went to pee in the middle of the night, and was eaten by a monster on the way back to bed”.
The bit about made-up friends though…that was real for a long time.
Because I also ended up coming to believe a lot of silly not-so-good things – things to do with low-worth and no-value and not-deserving, and those things have been the ones which have stuck, and which my adult self still struggles with. The timing on this prompt made me smile, in fact, because only today I suddenly had the thought that part of me might be trapped back there – in the land of childhood and fear and ostracising- and for whatever reason, I’ve not been able to get past it.
Which leaves me very uncertain, particularly as pertains to friendships, because these were magical things the circumstances of my childhood denied. One way and another, the instances where I was able to interact with other kids (outside of school, at least) were severely restricted. I didn’t bond with the kids at school either, and a new belief settled in – that I wasn’t worth being friends with. And it stuck – it’s always in the back of my mind, with each new friend I make, and most interactions with the extant ones: that one day they’ll see whatever terrible things made me so very unlikeable as a child, will realise their mistake, and will leave.
The amassed detritus of failed attempts at friendship as a kid often sneaks up on me and tangles me into its gnarled, rusting wreckage. I worry about being a burden or a nuisance. I fear that my input is unwanted, unhelpful and not anything someone else couldn’t have said or done better. I do nice things because I care, and then suddenly wonder whether it just comes across as though I’m trying to buy friendship. I get anxious and jealous and possessive (though I rarely act on those) and entirely unnecessary about the whole thing. And one way or another, I convince myself that I’m a bad friend.
I *know* that I’m not, though and I realised this because there is evidence to the contrary (no matter how much I question it or struggle to *feel* that it counts) and the proof is in the incredible, amazing people who have chosen to be friends with me.
Like my Soulie – my best friend in the world, who decided, at 17, that she and I belong (we do).
Like my oldest work-friend – who made the transition from colleague to pal, and with whom I laugh and spend time enjoying life simply.
And like a lot of wonderful people here in the Blogosphere; where friendships can sometimes be more easily managed, and like souls can meet and form bonds without a requirement to manage the physical meeting up and in-your-face-ness of friendship. And the beauty is that once the seeds of friendship online have been sown, they can be strengthened by things like Skype and WhatsApp, until the physical meeting and chance to hug is the only thing left undone.
I have several very dear Blogosphere friends who have been with me through thick and thin, and who have done me the honour of keeping me around when they have been through good times and bad. I even got the opportunity to finally meet one, earlier this year, and it was wonderful (and yes, I totally overthought the whole thing, but I did get a hug…and we’re still friends).
Today, though, I’d like to take the opportunity to celebrate a Blogosphere friend who is very important to me. She claims favourite, even, whenever the matter is raised. I don’t know why she chose to be my friend, but I’m super-glad she did. She writes stunningly well, and that was one of the first things I loved – she has a way of putting things so that they seem to shimmer from the screen and straight into the dead-centre of your heart. As I got to know her, I discovered an awesome sense of humour, a passion for making the world a better place, some ‘stupid drawings’ and a HUGE heart for other people – she doesn’t even mind getting wet for charity.
There have been moments where we’ve laughed uproariously together at bad jokes (if you meet her, get her to show you the one about the builders). There have been times when we’ve shared soul-deep ponderings. She’s shared amazing things (like an audition piece for a blogging show (she got the gig, Of course). When I was in a pit of grief and despair, she was there and took time from her day to calm me down. She is absolutely determined that I should never say never. We’ve each shared worries and allayed one another’s fears. We’ve each taken time to boost one another’s spirits with emails or messages or real-life things in the mail. She leaves me awesome, beautifully thought-out comments in response to the important blog posts, and snarky comments full of vim and swearwords in response to the ones which don’t matter. And each time we pick up where we left off, I am thankful beyond description that we are friends.
i adore her.
It’s also her birthday. And as birthdays are scientifically proven to be GOOD for you*, I hope that you’ll join me in wishing this lovely, beautiful, incredible, wonderful friend of mine a very happy day.
Because you probably already know her, and can nod your head, knowing that each and every good thing said about her is completely accurate.
Happy Birthday, Kristi 🙂 ❤
*The more of them you have, the longer you live. It’s undeniably true.