I suppose that for the last year and a half I’ve gotten pretty used to not having close friendships with others. When I moved to a new state, my old friends moved on and I set out to find my own way alone. It takes time to discover who you are without anyone to impress and the journey doing so makes it take quite some time to build up real friendships. Even with my family, it’s taken time and it still has its awkward moments. Well I guess I’ve reached that point of comfort and trust with others that my old ways of being the one to talk to have re-emerged.

At the beginning of the week, Jerry opened up to me about relationship issues he’s been having with his girlfriend. Apparently they’ve been together a month. He loves her, she tells him she needs a break because she’s overwhelmed. I could tell him what I honestly think, which is that she’s not ready for love and the fact that she doesn’t feel the same way scares her into wanting to end it, but I can’t do that to someone who’s feelings I care about. I let him pour it all out and gave the most encouraging (yet realistic) advice that I could. I need to check up on him to see how he’s doing. Kinda got lost in an accidental social overdose since then.

The next day, my co-worker was an emotional wreck. Apparently her and her boyfriend got in a huge fight and he spent the night with his sister, claiming he needed a few days apart from her. Oh boy, I’d heard things before and was none too impressed the first time I met him. My opinion? He’s immature, jealous and childish while she’s losing herself to be what he wants her to be when he doesn’t even know what that is. Again, can I say that? No. She loves unconditionally and will find any way to defend him – I know her type. So I offer to let her come over after work for a drink and to let her vent. Lordy can that woman talk! I swear she gave me her entire life story. She would only take a breath from talking when her phone would go off and then she was dead to the world as she checked her messages. I took that opportunity of silence to check my phone since mine had gone off too. It was my cousin, the only other female black sheep in the family and therefore my closest for as long as I can remember. The text said “I think I got married too soon. I need to get out and I need your advice.”  Now my head is spinning. Shit just got real and Bree is babbling on about what her high school schedule was like. It made it difficult to formulate meaningful responses to my cousin. I had intended on a peaceful evening alone – like always – and suddenly I felt like an avalanche of people needing my attention and my anxiety was rising. I found myself eagerly awaiting news that Bree’s ride would be there soon which then made me feel like an asshole for wanting her to leave when she really needed that friend to lean on and listen to her incessant rambling. I listened deeply to both, gave the best advice and encouragement that I could, and breathed a huge breath of relief when Bree left and my cousin said good night.

This same week, Micky sent me a message. I hadn’t talked to him in a while but I knew that he had recently been to divorce court and that it hadn’t gone well. I didn’t press him for details because, like me, he tends to find solace in solitude. I left him be but told him I was always there to talk to if he needed me. Turns out it did not go well at all and he’s in a rough place. He didn’t see his little girl for 6 weeks, he has to sell his house, he must surrender his dogs to his ex, and he just lost his job. Damn. 2016 was supposed to be better than last year. Why is everyone so miserable?!??! He’s still in my pending que to have a long deep talk with  – along with Jerry and my estranged grandmother I still haven’t had the balls to call back. Oh and Hedburg who recently lost disabilities benefits and his grandmother just died. Sheesh.

Honestly, I’d rather have hours of manual work around my home than have long conversations with people almost any day. It’s a shitty thing but 80% of the time I don’t want to interact with a single other human being, except any potential lover – that’s when the dynamic changes. Of course this sudden wave of being “popular” would come when I do have someone that I eagerly await texts and calls from. I’ve still been talking to Pickle on a regular basis as our ships cross in the mornings and evenings. We had such a great time on Saturday and honestly, miss each other already. He wanted to come visit again the weekend after next (his next weekend off) but my cousin is coming in to town that weekend and I really need to be a good friend and be there for her. It will be good to spend time alone together. We’re such similar people but have lived completely different lives, only crossing paths maybe once a year. I look forward to building up our friendship. At the same time, if Pickle’s off weekends are the only times we can hang out, it’ll be another 3 1/2 weeks until we can see each other again which is a total bummer. But – priorities.

Having friendships is exhausting.


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