Becoming my friend is a long, arduous process. It usually takes me a year or more before I feel like I can be myself and until then, it is one-sided conversations, lots of head nodding, and me deflecting personal questions so the other person continues to talk about themselves or something else.
Then, when we finally make a breakthrough, I question why they have stuck around for so long and try to have them explain what the appeal is being my friend.
Next, I will ask a stupid question that does not matter like “If we did not have class together, do you think we would be friends?” Or “If we did not work together, would we have become friends?”
Logically I know if the opposite of something happens, of course the yielding result would be the opposite. I cannot help but think it is only the proximity that brought us together and the particular circumstance; which is really how almost everything happens. Regardless, I still continue to think about what would have happened if I was not sitting alone on that bench or if I turned down that job role.
Another thing is, after every interaction I think I am blowing it. Honestly, sometimes I do. Recently my coworker (and friend) and I were having a conversation about our boss and how she tends to bad mouth other people behind their back. In response my friend said ” I do not know why she would say something like that to you, knowing how close we are.” My response “we’re close?”
Me: No, no, I’m just saying, I don’t know what i’m saying. I’m sorry?
A few months ago, a fellow friend-couple asked both Austin and I to be in their wedding. When they asked Austin I was like “ha, good luck with that kiddo. I’ll see you at the reception!” Then they turned and asked me to be a bridesmaid. I could not help myself, my immediate response was “why?”
I was serious and asked again.
We stared blankly at each other
“Yes…?” I then rambled on how we are not a package deal, I can totally just be a guest
The affianced couple, instead of excitedly celebrating their two close friends being in their wedding, proceeded to validate our friendship. I listened intently as they listed off reasons, in a nutshell: we are really close, we have been though a lot together, and we have been apart of and have witnessed a lot of their life transitions…which is all true.
I pretended like I was kidding the whole time, but a part of me still did not fully believe it.
As I get older, I find I want to maintain my friendships. But, at the same time, I think there has to be something wrong with people for wanting to be my friend. For some reason, I believe I have conned my way into friendships and I am holding my breath waiting for my friends to see the truth, that I am not worth their time. When really the truth is, I have been able to form honest relationships with my personality. Instead of questioning my friendships, I need to enjoy the moments and continue to make new memories. One day, I will stop asking and truly believe I am capable of forming genuine bonds and keeping them close.