Ever since I can remember I have had
It's funny how we put on a facade. The private you and the public you can be such very very different people. I recently found out a girl I know (and would like to become good friends with but haven't quite got there yet (in the three years since I met her...)) is having some issues with depression and has done on and off since high school. I met her at MR's 21st. She is the girlfriend of one of his friends and we had a drunkenly awesome time together and really hit it off. Anyhow, I wasn't sure if she would want to be 'friends-friends' with someone like me or not so I never really pushed it too much. She is one of the bubbliest and friendliest, outgoing-est types of people I have ever met. Like full on. Which is great for me really, I like those sort of people because when I hang with people like me sometimes the conversation gets a bit stuck and I feel all anxious. Apparently however, this is all her facade. I was amazed. She is awesome, really, I am in awe of her. But MR was chatting with her boyfriend and it turns out she is actually a lot like me, just with a much more amped up facade than mine.
First impressions are essentially defunct, especially if you are meeting people who are any good at putting on a show. That person you think is super bubbly may be really quiet without that glass of dutch courage in their hand. And that person who you think is a bit of a snob may just be really shy and not have great small talk skills. And yet we all still judge people on our first meetings and often don't give them a second chance.
An old uni friend told me at her wedding a few years ago that she had seated a cousin of hers next to me because she knew I'd be good at chatting to her and making her feel comfortable. I felt like snorting. I'm sure I raised an eyebrow and looked at her in 'wtf' expression. Me? Good at chatting? Hell no. But then I realised she knew me enough to see past my social anxiety and see that when I see people like me feeling all awkward and shy I do try to get past my own issues and attempt put them at ease by trying to chat to them and include them in conversation. Because I know how it feels.
So I'm trying to make an unlike me effort and put myself out there and invite her out to do something, completely out of the blue. I'm a bit nervous. Isn't it ridiculous how hard it is to make friends as an adult? Or is that just me? One of my main goals in moving back to Perth at the end of 2010 was to make more friends because at the time I had a grand total of two proper friends, and one of them was MR. I have a few more now because I have been putting myself out there, doing things like starting up a Brown Owls group with Sarah, where I have met a few very lovely ladies, and starting a new job last year, although it's been hard being off work for 7 months to keep up with everything with those girls, and I've met someone who is probably the closest person I'm ever going to find who has been through something similar to me. I had a liver transplant because of leukaemia and she has lymphoma because of a liver transplant (the immunosuppressant drugs). In fact she has had two liver transplants and is going through her second lot of lymphoma. And she's two years younger than me. You think I've had it hard! It is nice to have someone close in age who understands what it's like though.
I've come a long way in the last year and a half. I used to break down in tears at the thought of going out and having to socialise where I used to live. There were no 'me type people', or if there were, they were in the 'mummy group' which was out of bounds for non mummies. It's amazing what a bit of sheer determination to turn something around can do.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. And I apologise for the sheer volume of dribble, it is 3.30am and I've been up since 4.40am because I took MR to the airport. Procrastination, plain and simple. I hate going to bed the first night home alone.
ps. Did you totally love those bouncers (in the image) as a child? God, they were awesome! I keep trying to use the kindy kids ones at school but I am just a tad too big for them. I need an adult sized one. Maybe we could put handles on pilates blow up fit balls? New trend? Anyone with me??