Friendship is not my strong suit. It never really has been. Growing up I had some fantastic neighborhood friends, but it didn’t quite translate into friends at school.
I was different. I don’t think I was weird, but I did seem to repel people. I was only sometimes invited to play with others on the playground. I wasn’t very athletic. I ran more slowly than anyone else. My performance on the jungle gym was dismal and I just didn’t find the same things funny. Honestly, I have no idea if I talked too much or too little. Whatever the combo was, it didn’t garner me a lot of friends.
Then I headed off to a couple different Christian schools. Where I still didn’t quite fit. Most there had more money than we did. I was embarrassed, for the first time, that my clothes came from yard sales.
It made life more than a little lonely.
And caused me to grow up believing I wasn’t worthy of friends.
Insert an awful relationship where I was told often that I “didn’t know how to make friends, talk to friends, couldn’t keep friends and wouldn’t have any friends without him” and you had the perfect storm of self doubt.
There went all belief in myself as a worthy, capable friend that could be remembered and loved.
Thing is, I have close friends I have known for 30 years. I have friends from 20 years ago that have come back into my life and we have built a fantastic relationship. I have on-line friendships that include more than Facebook comments, they are built on deliberate efforts to reach out to me, no matter how ugly where I am looks.
Slowly, my heart is letting me believe that maybe, just maybe I have friends. Maybe, just maybe, I am worthy of friends.
I see it in texts from out of the blue. I read it in e-mails and Facebook posts. I hear it in Skype calls from lands afar.
My heart dares to wonder, dares to believe that maybe that young child has outgrown some of the awkward, maybe that fiance’ was wrong. Maybe I am not so easily forgotten. Maybe I am not expendable on people’s friendship list. Maybe they keep me around because they want to, not out of duty or because they just don’t know how to shake me.
A friend even chose to spend her day off taking me out to lunch for my Birthday last year
I don’t know what it will take for me to shake the feeling of being a person people want to, and can, easily forget, but for the first time in a long time, my heart says, “Maybe, Just Maybe.”