While I was growing up, I was very insecure.
Do you see the way I’ve managed to imply I don’t have insecurities anymore? So clever. Not true, naturally. I still feel insecure about tons of things, but I’m better equipped to deal with them and not let them define me.
Back when I was a teenager though, all those fears and doubts really ruled my life. The biggest one was how afraid I secretly was that people didn’t want to be around me, and that I would have to be alone. (That was another fear of mine, of course; having to be alone with myself and all my fears.)
It meant I was very, very clingy. Really disgustingly so. I remember I had this friend I kept trying to have huge fights with because she dared to have her own life, and it meant we only had four 2-hour long Skype calls a week, rather than seven. It wasn’t just to start shit; it honestly bothered me so, so much that she wasn’t as terrified of being alone as I was.
Because, ultimately, that’s what all the insecurities came down to. How hurt I felt because she had to cancel a Skype date to study, and how angry I was that she wasn’t as desperate to be with me 24/7. I hated being alone so much that anyone choosing it over me must really hate me.
That toxic friendship (to make it clear, I was 100% the toxic part of the relationship) went up in flames before too long, and then I had no choice but to be alone. There was no person for me to project all my hopes on to, and to idolise and dehumanise. It was just… me.
After a long time, I learned how to not just deal with loneliness, but also appreciate being alone. I started going on dates with myself, and doing little things to make sure I felt loved.
I’ve written about this a few times. I mention it again because it cuts a contrast to the way most of my friendships work nowadays. All but two of my friends live in other countries, and all of them lead very busy lives.
I barely get to spend time or talk with anyone, but it works.
I had a Google Hangout with my best friend yesterday, about 6 weeks after the last time we had one. She’s been super busy with college, so we’ve barely been able to even text. I haven’t really been bothered too much by it; I miss her, but she has her own life, and I have mine.
Still, I was really looking forward to getting to talk again. And I was right to be excited. Within a few minutes we were both laughing our heads off and talking about things we really wouldn’t talk with most anyone else.
Something similar happened that night, when I had a reunion with a bunch of people from high school. Some I hadn’t seen in a few months, others for years. It didn’t really matter though; once we started talking, we were 16 and 18 year olds again, remembering stupid arguments with teachers, and silly moments in class.
Sure, it’s great to have friends who live close by, and who are free to spend time with you all the time. However, that kind of friendship is rare to non-existent when you’re an adult, so it’s a good thing the alternative is great, too.
There’s something comforting about being so secure in a friendship that you can go months barely speaking, but always knowing there’s a connection, and that the day you can spend time together, it’ll be like no time has passed at all.