Thursday, April 26, 2007

All Good Things

I feel a strong need to wax poetic and talk about feelings. It has been some time since I have been as open on this blog as I would like to be. I had a weird dream the other night. In it I was trapped in a town I did not like with a lot of people who I did like. I was leaving and I knew it. I really liked all the people around me, but none of them knew me very well. I realized that I had gone a very long time liking these people and refusing to allow them to be my friends. I remember the horrible feeling at the end of the dream more than anything else. I just knew it was too late. I was leaving and they did not know me well enough to stay in touch. It was over. It's a feeling I have had many times in life. I know why I get that feeling too.

It is true. I am not a very open individual. I am very slow to make friends. There are many reasons for this. One, I am shy. Yes, really and truly, I am shy. As often as I tell myself I am "just reserved" I know that line is a lie. Two, I hate it when people do not like me. I mean I really hate it. I try to say there was a time when stuff like that did not matter to me. But that is not true either. I want people to like me, I want to like people and I want to make everyone happy.

I was not well liked in highschool. That whole episode made me kind of emo for a while. You know, you really cannot define yourself by what happened to you in highschool. So many people do. At some point you have to grow up and realize that you made choices in highschool and you are making choices now. It is not what was done to you that makes you who you are, it is what you do. This whole rabbit trail is a subject for another day.

Yeah, I like to be liked. And I think that sometimes I feel like people will not like me if they know me too well. I mean, I am odd. I have these strange OCD tendencies. I have to delete my emails to reduce the amount of used space in my inbox. There is no other logical reason for this other than the fact that I despise digital clutter. I am also compelled to check my email every ten minutes. At work I just leave my email up all the time and read the messages as they come in. If someone sends me a task to do I drop everything and do it. Then I go back to what I was doing. I am also compelled to help people even when I do not have time. If an event of some kind is not properly organized I have to fix it. I have to make it work. And it has to work well because I made it work. Not to mention I am the only one who does not have any fun at these events. But everyone else was happy, so I am happy. Then, somewhere deep inside there exists this feeling that it is okay if I am not happy. Or perhaps it is more that I know I have such a restless spirit that I will never be completely happy.

Sometimes I am like Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey. I am torn between two existences: to live a normal, happy life with a family or to be famous, great and well recognized because I am incredibly good at the work I do in life. I suppose you can have both, but it takes an amazing person to do well at both. Still, this is a bit of a digression. I am trying to come up with reasons why people will not like me after all. I suppose the real reason would be because I want them to like me despite my deep insecurities. I know, we all have insecurities. I have heard it all before. But we really do not like the person who is so insecure that she wants you to tell her every minute of every day why you like her. I fear sometimes that I will become that person.

This all started as a post about how I have to say goodbye to the friends I have made here, just like I said goodbye to the friends I had in Michigan and the friends I had in Washington, D.C. I have to start all over in the new place we move to. Again I have failed. Again I have not made close enough friendships to be able to keep them all when I leave. I am tired of being so shy and reserved. Tired of being such a quiet, private person. I equate myself with Captain Piccard on Star Trek in some ways. I am logical, stern and good at my work. But I do not make friends. Not really. I always hold back. I justify these behaviors too. I say that people who are too open immediately are not to be trusted. Yes, that is true. However, people who are never open, no matter how long you know them are also a little odd. They are not always happy. They know they are missing out on something. Sometimes they give in to their insecurities and feel bad about themselves.

Here I am, going away. Turning my back on a place again. Faced once more with the realization that it is always the people who make the place. They are the ones I will miss. They are the ones I will remember. Friendship is a good thing and some of mine will come to an end soon. Not in a bad way, but in a sad way. Even if I had got to know everyone out here as well as I could I know that some friendships would fall by the wayside. Some things in life are true and that is one of them. You cannot hang onto every friend you ever had. But the older I get the more I realize how much I value the friendships I have and how much I hate to leave them behind again.

I hope that I will be able to stay in one place long enough to make some very lasting friendships. I hope it will be a good enough place that I will invest myself more fully in it. I hope it will be the next place I live.


Amber said...

I totally know where you are coming from. I feel the same exact way. I've been thinking the same sort of things lately, even though I am not moving right now.

For me, it's more that some of the students I know are graduating this year, and I really like them, but haven't made friends with them, and now I won't have a chance. It was the same way at the 'dale too, people who graduated before I was comfortable enough to be friends.

We should have a friends-making anonymous group or something :-P

You know, I don't think that some of your habits are OCD - they sound normal to me. I do them too :) But, that's just me.

Mel Chickk said...

I can relate to how you feel. As much as I love moving, I hated leaving the people. I would really feel bad about the ones who I would try to keep in touch with but the effort was not returned. I am extreemly shy so any type of new friendships were very hard for me to make and that's why I tried so hard to keep them after moving.
Good luck in your new place.