People.

I remember when I was in primary school, I think I was eight or nine and it was nearly my birthday, my mum said I could have friends round for tea. I was so excited.

The next day I went to school and I asked about half a dozen people if they wanted to come. By the end of the week, I think nearly all of them had an excuse not to attend. I don’t know if the excuses were genuine or not, but I remember the feeling of having to go home and tell my mum. I was devastated.

Over the years, I have tried to arrange get together’s and parties and day’s out, but the same thing seems to keep happening.

It happened on my 21st. My best friends weren’t there. It was me, my ex and some of his friends. Admittedly that was the night I met Jordan and fast forward four years and we’re now living together, but still. I felt so alone.

Somehow over the years, I have just found it easier to keep everyone at arm’s length. That way I can’t be disappointed. I don’t like getting close to people, because they will just find someone better eventually.

I say that I just don’t like people. I like to do my own thing. Which is true, I do like my own space and to just get on with things. I don’t want to be relying on other people.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t get jealous of all the fun other people have. I feel like sometimes I’m just watching from the sidelines and I never get the chance to be part of the fun. I just want to fit in. To be part of the group.

Every time that I think this is finally about to happen, that I’m going to have what I want, it all comes crashing down around me. Maybe I put too much pressure on it, maybe I expect too much and because of that I’m always going to be disappointed.

I just can’t help but feel like I’m always second best.

I remember when I was at College, I had a big argument with my boyfriend and I was in tears walking through town. I text my best friend asking if she was still in town, she text back saying she was already on her way home. Five minutes later I saw her sat on a bench with some friends. She didn’t see me, but I just remember feeling so lonely. I had no one to speak to and I blamed myself. I wasn’t important enough.

I know that as we get older, our priorities change and work, relationships and so on, just get in the way but it doesn’t change the way I feel. When it’s someone’s birthday, I always remember and go to the party. When someone gets married, I buy them a present. I guess I just don’t understand what I’m doing wrong.

I think social media makes it even worse though. You can get all the likes on Facebook or Instagram but it’s not the same as someone actually making the effort to spend some time with you. I don’t understand the people that have hundreds of friends on Facebook. How can you honestly say you are friends with all those people?

Maybe it is my fault. I was painfully shy in primary school and didn’t really improve until College. By that point though, I had a barrier up and I didn’t let many people through it.

Right now I feel that a lot of people only put up with me because of Jordan. Everybody loves Jordan. I love Jordan. Sometimes I feel that I only get invited because of him though and that his friends don’t really want me there. I feel like I finally have the opportunity to have the group of friends that throw parties and go out places, but that I don’t fit in.

Right now, I just want to stay away from everyone. This is what always happens. I get excited, plan something and then it all goes wrong and that barrier goes back up. I push those people away and then I have to warm up to them again.

I have missed out on so much because I didn’t do all the teenage things others did. I didn’t go out drinking at University, I didn’t make the friendships that other people did. And now I feel like I’m trying to catch up. I don’t know what I’m suppose to do.

Some people I work with keep trying to reach out to me. I’m currently stuck between wanting to get to know them better and wanting to run and bury my head in the sand so that I can’t be hurt again.

Maybe I’m overthinking it. Maybe I’m just not good enough. I don’t know.

It’s my birthday next month. Generally speaking I don’t enjoy birthdays. From the age of 17 until I was 23, my birthdays were not great. It was a mixture of my parents splitting up, a rubbish boyfriend and constantly just feeling alone. I’m not very good at explaining to Jordan what’s wrong. I don’t think I’ve ever told him why each birthday was bad. I don’t like opening old wounds.

I can’t complain though, when it comes to birthday’s Jordan is pretty good. I’m lucky I have him.

 

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Jealousy…

It eats away at you. It’s almost like a poison running through your body and, no matter how much you try to control it, you can’t. Eventually, you end up letting it out.

Now I’m not saying we all turn into the woman from Fatal Attraction and start boiling people’s pets, but we all do something stupid when we’re jealous.

I’m the first to admit that my jealousy stems from the fact that I’m really insecure and, afraid that someone is going to prefer other people to me, or is going to leave me and, so on. This resulted in me staying with someone, who wasn’t right for me, for seven years. I was afraid to be honest and go after what I really wanted.

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I tend to find that most of the time, jealousy is irrational. I was once jealous of my friend just because she shared the same birthday as our favourite pop star. I’m not even kidding! In reality, it didn’t matter. I just felt that because they had the same birthday, they connected. I mean I was twelve, but even I know that’s ridiculous. I share my birthday with Will Smith and, as much as I’d loved for that to mean we’re connected; I know it doesn’t.

I have been suffering from jealousy recently. It’s pretty bad as well. Jealousy coupled with paranoid thoughts. For the most part, I can shake them off and know that I’m being stupid. But, there’s that little voice in the back of my head, that keeps saying “…but are you being stupid?”

I have no right to be jealous. We’ve had ‘the’ conversation and it’s not the right time. At first, I was okay with this and, felt all mature that I’d handled it so well. I accepted that I wouldn’t be hearing from this person much and so on.

However, when I see that this person is online, a part of me still hopes. And it is because of that hope, that I still get jealous and, can’t help but wonder.

images (3)Right now, I’m trying to find ways to deal with this. Comedy helps. Laughter really is the best medicine. I find watching stand up and things like Friends, does take your mind of it. And the next time you think about it, it doesn’t seem so bad.

That is until the high from the laughter has run out.

But for now, it’s better than nothing. And I’ll take that.

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Friendship.

When we were at school, it was all about how many friends we had. The more friends we had, the better. Even if you had nothing in common with them, all that mattered is that you could count them as a friend.

Now we’re older and not as childish as we once were. We now know that it is not about the number of friends we have, but rather the quality of the friendship.

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Going through a break up, you soon realise who your real friends are. These are the ones that answer your calls at one in the morning, when you’re hysterical and, they don’t hang up until they have you laughing.

They are the ones that hardly see you, but still call you to see if you’re okay and, to talk about anything.

They are the ones that let you go round to their house and drink wine and talk.

But with the advance of technology, we now have online friends too. And sometimes, these friends actually help me more than my actual friends do.

It has got to be said that sometimes talking to a stranger is easier than talking to a friend.

Sometimes when we’re in a relationship and we’re working and so on, you lose track of friends and you struggle to keep in touch.

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That’s why right now, all I want to do is see my friends again. I have friends who I didn’t see for years, just because my ex didn’t like them. And that was stupid. Don’t ever do that.

Your friends help make you who you are. Without them, there isn’t much left.

It’s complicated…Only it isn’t.

Last weekend one of my best friend’s got married and it was beautiful. It was funny and, sweet, and just so her.

My partner didn’t come, which was noticed by everyone. I literally walked into the Church and straight away the groom asked me where he was. I told him it was complicated and not a wedding day story. I then proceeded to tell everyone this throughout the day.

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It was only on reflection, that I realised it wasn’t actually that complicated. My partner wasn’t there because he didn’t want to be. And that is pretty awful of him, but that’s his choice. I’ve had a few people try and give me their view on it. My best friend told me what an arse he is and so on. Another friend made the point that maybe Dale didn’t want to go because, he didn’t want to put pressure on me – we’ve been engaged for a while but not really getting anywhere.

I think their both right. It was a crappy thing to not go and he is an arse for it, but my other friend does have a point.

Now looking at that, what’s complicated about it? Nothing really.

Which got me to thinking. Nowadays, we tell everyone things are complicated. Even when their not. I do it because I don’t want to talk about it. Like in the above situation – plus I didn’t want to ruin the day.

But I do it at other times as well. I don’t like my job. And tell people it’s complicated, but it’s not. It’s actually quite simple. I don’t like what I do, but I can’t afford to quit and be unemployed for six weeks until my new job starts. See? Pretty simple. Pretty crappy too, but you get the jist.

And we all do it, all the time. We do it because we don’t want to talk to people. Or because we think it’s actually really complicated and we can’t get our heads around it. You know what I say to that? Take a step back and look at things from an outsider’s point of view. It’ll make all the difference.

I’ve not been very well recently and I’ve been letting things get to me, more so than normal. I’ve basically been questioning my entire life. I know I haven’t felt so low. Ever. And, to be honest, it’s not going to get better over night.

I’m hoping that once I start my new job, I might start to feel a bit better. But I’m also worried that I’ll start my new job and find out that the way I’m feeling goes deeper than that, you know?

But I have to try. We all do.

At least my friends can try and make me happy though.

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Quote

“In prosperity …

In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends. – John Churton Collins

I must warn you that I am in a very philosophical mood and what I think I want to write and what I end up writing may be slightly different. At the same time, I’ve sort of fallen out of love with the 21st century – if that’s even possible. The irony being that if it wasn’t for this century, I couldn’t be sat on my own laptop talking to the entire world whenever I want. I’m not ungrateful, maybe just nostalgic for what could have been.

Anyway, I chose this quote because I think there is several different interpretations to it (clearly I should have done an English degree instead of a History one). The most obvious interpretation is that we know you our true friends are because they are the ones that help clean up after the party, ring you whenever and don’t try to schedule you. You just fit into their life automatically and vice versa.

In today’s day and age with the advance of the internet and social media it is possible for us to have more friends than we could ever have imagined. Although psychiatrists have suggested that we can’t maintain social connections with more than one hundred and fifty people – this goes back to stone age times when we wouldn’t have met or interacted with that many different, diverse people. It makes it harder to really know who your friends are though and who we can trust.

I say this because we’re all on social network sites and if you go through your friends list and look at all those names, can you honestly say that you are a good friend to all those people? To people who you went to school with but barely ever spoke to? I think the best example is my Dad. He’s sixty two and we got him a laptop for Christmas. Automatically, he got Facebook and one day rung me up saying that a woman at work, who he doesn’t have many dealings with, had added him on Facebook and he couldn’t understand why. He didn’t understand why someone who he doesn’t really know that well would want to be his friend. Now obviously you can argue that it is a chance for them to get to know each other better. But for my Dad it was so weird. And he has a point. We are all guilty of being friends with people online who don’t really know or haven’t spoken to in years. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we do it because we want to be nosey and see what the people who were popular or mean to us at school, are doing now.

Now baring this in mind, doesn’t it make you worry that if you post your personal life online, people who aren’t your friends are going to enjoy the times when you’re struggling? It can’t be denied that some people thrive on having thousands of friends – it means there is always someone there to like your status. But we can’t maintain that many friendships and ultimately people fall through the cracks.

The reason I’m thinking like this is because I gave up Facebook for Lent and I was starting to feel cut off or out of the loop.It made me think about how if I was to go back on Facebook they would only be a handful of people I would want to talk to because I miss them. I currently have a running joke that if I delete any more people of my Facebook, I’ll only have one friend and that’ll be Dale – poor him!

It’s like when you go off to University and then come home and realise just how small your home town is. You gain a new perspective and it’s hard to see it any other way. But when you do this, you see people in a different light and you realise who has your best interests at heart and who don’t.

Now I’m a bit like marmite; you either love me or you hate me. That’s never really bothered me much to be honest. Naturally I’m quiet around people which obviously leads to problems when making friends, but once you’re my friend, well, good luck escaping – you’ll need it. The same way I don’t start a conversation unless I have a reason too. That sounds awful but I don’t like pointless conversations.

Anyway, enough of my tangent. What I’m trying to say is, is that in my opinion, it seems harder to know who your real friends are when everyone wants to know your business. And the majority of those people just want to know to be nosey. I think my best example would be when I was in Year 11 – six years ago. My best friend had a lunchtime detention and I was with Dale. We were stood under this vent that blew out hot air and some of the other lads wanted to be under it as well. I won’t go into details but basically Dale and this lad got into an altercation, which me being female, left me in tears. When I went to my afternoon lesson and saw my friend. I burst into tears again. She was calming me down when this other girl came over. I have nothing against this girl, but we weren’t friends. We’d barely ever spoken and, she wanted to know what was wrong. Obviously we didn’t tell her, but it makes you think, how would she gain from knowing what was wrong? How could she help? Well she couldn’t. Admittedly, I may be slightly cynical about this and she could have just been trying to be nice.

My point is though, we don’t know. When someone we haven’t spoken to in a long time asks about our problems, are they being a friend or being nosey? I sometimes wish that I’d grown up thirty years ago because back then if you wanted to stay friends with someone, you had to put real effort in. You couldn’t just add them on Facebook and then only talk to them when you feel guilty that you haven’t seen them in a while. As cliché as it sounds, I do think it was easier then. You knew who your friends were and you weren’t. Today it is harder to differentiate between those who care and those who revel in your suffering.

In my case, I play my cards close to my chest. I don’t tell people, in general, very much. And when I do, I laugh it off. Only my family, Dale’s family and my close close friends get to see me cry. So if I tell you something, it’ll probably means I view you as a close friend so don’t screw it up!

Anyway that is where my mind is right now. Feel free to disagree and remind me why the 21st century is so great!

xxx

Fact of the day: 4th February

On this day in 2004, Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook was founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The founders had initially limited the website’s membership to Harvard students, but later expanded it to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities before it opened to high-school students, and eventually to anyone aged 13 and over. Facebook now allows anyone who claims to be at least 13 years old to become a registered user of the website.

Today Facebook is everywhere. It is probably the most popular social networking site on the internet. It took over from Bebo and MySpace. Now even though I’ve deleted my account, millions of people sign up every year and, I’m sure it will continue to grow in popularity.

Facebook is a place to a connect or reconnect with old friends, a place to play games, listen to music and discover new things.

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So Yesterday…

…I deleted my Facebook. A bit drastic but it’s something that I’ve been thinking about for months and, I’ve deactivated a few times, but that wasn’t enough.

Facebook has been a part of our lives now for six, maybe seven years and for almost everyone, it’s a huge part of our lives. But recently, whenever I went on Facebook, it felt like it had just turned into a site where we could brag about things and get attention, or even rub it in that we’re doing better than others. Not to mention the fact that, Facebook is great for when you’re incredibly drunk and you want to check out the ex partner/friend or estranged family etc and, we all know that is not healthy.

It did feel a bit weird this morning waking up and not checking Facebook, but I still think it’s for the best. I’m not even sure if anyone of my friends have really noticed yet either. That to me means one of two things; firstly, that if your friends don’t even notice, then clearly no one is even paying attention to you in the first place, so why do you need Facebook? Secondly, for me it means that I’ve done the right thing, because obviously my real friends will know how to get hold of me through other methods. And for those people who aren’t really friends, won’t miss me and I won’t miss them.

They say it takes three days to make a habit and twenty one days to break a habit. So here’s hoping that in twenty one days time I will have broken this habit!