28 June, 2009

Am I a friend of worth?

The Reluctant Friend

I see pictures and smiles. I’ve read the, ‘I can’t imagine my life without you in it’ confessions. And I wonder…so that’s what it’s supposed to be like. At times like a voyeur you witness the connection, the openness, the reality of what one would describe as friendship. Do we all define this bond with equal amounts of enthusiasm, accolades, and reverence? Am I a friend of worth and by what standards do we judge, gage that worthiness? What are we looking for in these strands that wound themselves around us tight – an acquaintance, companionship, or someone/something/anything to fill the empty space in our lives.

PhotobucketStrange is: Not knowing the answers and wondering if you have somehow missed the relevant meaning altogether. Awkward is: Not knowing exactly what is expected of you in friendship. I can nurture, listen, almost always give a helping hand – but is that the same? Friendship is a two way street. It’s easy enough to give of oneself, allowing for someone to give of themselves is – far from easy. Some days I’m not exactly sure how. Awkward is: Tripping falling over words, stammering for the right response and searching for something/anything to give you a hint on how to respond in any given situation. Complicated? It’s getting there.

Children who grow up in a sheltered environment often lack the social skills they might of otherwise learned. Add in the equivalent of lacking acceptance, love and self appreciation brought on by violent relationships and…most of my life has been centered around barely existing and participating in life and a whole lot of insecurity. If only those were the only factors – add in living with a disability (my deafness) and the world gets smaller by the moment. The desire to interact and belong on some level is always there. For those who would discount all or any of the above as being irrelevant in how someone may associate with another human being, “It’s my story, I lived it – leave it be.”

It’s not open for discussion of what I lack in understanding and empathy. That’s not the problem. In some twist of fate I turned out to be well rounded despite any of the above. Writing down one’s history in a memoir unlocks reality in a way you didn’t/couldn’t comprehended before the epiphany. The ‘ah, hah’ moment when it dawns on you there are no memories to guide what a friendship should be. The implications of living a lone wolf existence, leave one wanting to grasp what exactly it is you’ve missed out on. The camaraderie that you let your guard down with; the one person you can’t wait to share with; the people that somehow complete you; the ones that bring out the best of you and you them.

I’m learning…and some days it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to actively try to do in my life – is be a friend. Did I say/do the right thing at the appropriate moment? Was I understanding, supportive, encouraging enough? Did they get my off color humor, the at least I tried to lighten the moment tempest. Is it safe to let the vitriol escape, those unhindered, unbound lapses of opinionated – this is me, get over it whispers? Most of all is it worthy of friendship – mine and yours? When do I get to relax and stop worrying about the e-mail I sent out, my response/yours? Is it suppose to be this complicated and uninhibited? Is being me enough of an incentive to want you to know me?

How are you supposed to be a friend, when you’re never sure how to be one? It’s not an adult issue it’s a lifetime one…

Meet me in the stillness
Away from all this madness
I'll give you a piece of me
If you'll give me a moment
To let you into the corners of my mind

I looked into a stranger
And found my soul waiting there
It hit me like a siren
To see myself everywhere
And I saw that I knew him like the corners of my mind

And like every other soul
You feel the night come on hard and go slow
And life goes on and on and it goes
In the corners of my mind

So shed your skin for me
Let's pull back the covers
There's so much about ourselves
We're yet to discover
So won't you let me in to the corners of your mind

We pass on chance with our eyes to the ground
It only takes a minute to see what's around
But instead we choose to reside in the corners of our minds

So I stand before you now
Faulty but not broken
Fragile like the break of day
And sometimes sad like words unspoken
But I'll let you in
I'll let you in to the corners of my mind

And like every other soul
You feel the night come on hard and go slow
And life goes on and on and it goes
In the corners of my mind
(Nikka Costa -Corners of My Mind)

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