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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

As the new year begins, many of us find ourselves reflecting on the past year. I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions, but I am one to reflect. 2009 was a hard year and I am optimistic that 2010 will be much better. I struggled with depression last year in degrees that I have not dealt with since I left my physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive marriage in 2000. I saw myself as worthless and wondered why, instead of being the “miracle” that survived my health, I didn’t just die. I felt that my children didn’t really need me, nor did my job, nor anyone nor anything for that matter. I am not writing in hopes of getting your sympathy, I don’t want it. My life is what it is, the past, the present the future. I strongly believe that all things happen for a reason although we often do not know what that reason is. I write because writing is healing and I am healing.

I could tell you of all of the ups and downs of the past year, the trials, the tribulations, but in the end, it does not matter. What matters is that we survived it. I found myself feeling thankful during this Christmas season. Money is tight, I have hospital bills that I can not pay, collectors calling, most of the gifts that I gave this year were used and did not cost me anything, yet they looked new and my son did not know the difference. I have a home, I have heat, I have a steady job, and I have family and friends that have blessed me. One of these days, I might be able to fully trust those in my life and lean on them as I once did. I wonder why it is that once trust has been broken, it is so hard to re-establish. I am hard pressed to name two people in my life that I fully trust and I find that to be a sad thing. There is no reason for me not to trust others in my life, they have done nothing to cause the lack of trust that I suffer from and I know that, yet I still am unable to trust them. I wait for the day that they will sabotage our friendship and I know this is a pathetic truth. I also know why my trust issues run so deep and where they stem from. Perhaps that is a good thing, but sadly, it makes no difference.

My motto in life has become, “Fake it until you make it.” I’ve told a few people this and they look at me with a puzzled, quizzical smile upon their face. I don’t think they know whether or I am jesting or being genuine. I am genuine. I find that I have “faked” it through most of my life. I’ve put on that mask to disguise the real me. The mask that smiles, is optimistic and generally finds the good in things. The real me is cynical, doubtful, and constantly waiting for the bad to happen. I do love to smile, laugh and joke around, so one of these days I hope that the “fake it me” becomes the real me. I guess she’s in there under all of the baggage.

I did not mean for this post to be a negative one, just a reflective one. If you have made it this far, thanks for “listening”. Here’s to a year of healing!

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People

People are so weird. Yeah. Enough said. 

Except….might I add…Wow. 

*scratching my head as I exit*

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There are two types of people in this world: those who like to talk and those who like to listen. I suppose it’s good that there are both types as a world filled with talkers would be insane while a world filled with listeners would be deadly quiet. I’m sure you know the type of people that I am referring to. You know that friend that is always the center of attention with great stories to tell? The one that lets everyone know about how perfect last night’s date was, exactly what both people wore and what they ate? The talker never realizes when the listener has stopped listening and the listener is so good at listening that she can float in and out of the conversation and still know exactly what the talker is talking about even though the listener has not given the talker her full attention for the past 20 minutes. 

The listener is the person that sits quietly and nods at just the right time, adding a few verbal cues here and there, but never really saying much. It isn’t until you notice the engagement ring on her hand that you realize first of all that she has a boyfriend and second of all that she has been dating him for three years! Furthermore, they have extensively traveled the world over the past few years and you had no knowledge of this despite the fact that you consider her one of your best friends.

As a listener, I can share that it is an amazing thing and even, if you will, a God given gift. All of my life I have been amazed how virtual strangers will approach me and without much prodding (if any!), they pour their life story out for me to hear. As a teenager working in a department store, we were required to ask customers why they were returning items. One day, early on in the job, a man started telling all about how he and his finace had broken up with details as to why and that was the reason that he was returning her clothing. It was horrible and sad, I was young and did not know what to say, so I vowed to NEVER ask a customer again! 

I have a new friend that is a listener. It’s very odd to me. Those of you that know me know that I had some serious health issues last year. 9 months later, I am still in the recovery stages and I have permanent life long damage as a result. This friend is an online friend that I have never actually met, we just have small email conversations – no big deal. However, I have always been the listener in my friendships and it is very odd for me to have this role reversed. He checks in with me and makes sure that I am ok. When I ask him questions, he may skim over them with a quick answer, but he never really lets the focus be on him, it’s always about making sure that I am ok. I am confident that I am not receiving special treatment from him, that this is his personality and that he is like this with several people on the board, yet it has me pondering tonight. 

To have two listeners become friends really puts quite the twist on things. I like that someone seems to care, yet it really bothers me that they are not sharing. The irony is that when I am with my talker friends, sometimes I wish that they would just stop and listen. Kind of crazy. 

What makes a person a talker or a listener? Does it go back to the old nature vs. nurture? Is it a God given gift or role in this life or is it influenced more by the way that we were raised? Or, is it all of the above? Growing up in my family of four, I am the only listener. Even though I wouldn’t classify my mom as a talker, she is by no means a listener.

I suppose I don’t really have a point, merely pondering tonight. It’s an odd twist to have someone care. I wish I could find that in my daily life…a man to make sure that I really am ok at the end of the day. As this friend once told me, I hold hands all day long in my career, at the end of the day, it would sure be nice to have someone hold mine. Wow. He figured me out fast.

14 years, 1 month and 19 days…

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