Sometimes, when things upset me, or have the ability to, I don’t remember them like they actually were. I put a filter on things, so it doesn’t affect me like it could. And they don’t have to be memories of bad things either – I partition things away that I’ve done that made me really happy too. Usually when I’m not in a position to do them any more. So in the middle of the night, when I couldn’t sleep, at my parents house, I wrote this as part of a rambling blog post:
“7. On friendships – thank you Lord and everything else for Mrs R and Dr AKT. My two friends. Dr AKT is quite proud of the fact that she has “two friends” and writes to me on birthday cards as “one of my two friends”. It’s quite a status to have really… Mrs R doesn’t go in for emotional mush like labels, but the one time she had something happen so awful that I cry just thinking of it, she had her husband ring me. So that will do instead. And she buys me birthday cards with cake, and two flubbers of bears riding a tandem together. I’ve done really badly this year with managing to see other friends. Well I’ve not even seen Mrs R and Dr AKT enough. But I call and swap rude texts with the former. So it’s ok. I find it really strange to see people having huge circles of friends. I’ve never, and I do mean, never, been in a circle of girls, so it’s something that I often wonder about. Am I missing out? Would it enhance my life? My only experiences don’t make me think they are that amazing, but maybe it’s just a chip I am missing. The group friendship chip? That’s something else to think and blog about. And thank God that I have sons and not daughters for. It upsets me already when E says someone wasn’t kind at school, so I’ve got plenty of manning up to do on this front!”
And a friend, Sam, quite rightly pointed out to me that she was offended that I’d not remembered my times with her and three other girls as being part of a friendship circle. So then I had to explain myself in lots of detail. I wrote that I’d not been part of an amazing circle of friends and that’s not an accurate statement. It’s wrong. It’s untrue. Sam quite rightly pointed out a circle to me that I’d all but put well out of my mind. Because I’m not so active in it any more. Now that I work full time, I don’t get to go to day time meet ups. And I miss it. Lots. So I think I put the whole experience of my fabulous, funny, entertaining, hanging out, meet ups somewhere firmly not in my conscious mind when I was writing the bit above. It wasn’t something to move on from, to something better. Life changed and I couldn’t do it any more.
I have vivid memories of crying at a meet up because I wouldn’t be meeting up with them any more, not as regularly, and that my life was changing from what I thought it was going to be. I was upset about it and yes, felt it was my job to contribute as much as I could to my family’s income, and take advantage of the opportunities coming our way financially.
As soon as Sam pointed it out to me, I was mortified that I’d upset her. That wasn’t my intention. I loved hanging out with Sam and Caleb. And the other girls too.And now they have moved to Canada and I’m annoyed about that. So perhaps I’ve not stayed in touch as well as I could, because I got worked up when I called her. It’s not that I don’t think of it or want to – I remember the day that her second baby, her first daughter, arrived. My auto pilot went out the window. I called her mobile in Canada, not thinking of money, because I wanted to know that she was ok after she’d fallen over and subsequently had an unplanned c section.
I remember when just pregnant with W, and the hospital said he was most likely an ectopic pregnancy, because they couldn’t find him on the scans, it was those girls who I went to a small zoo with, because I wanted a distraction and to carry on with normal life whilst we waited to see where W was hiding. The photo of us all hanging in line trying to squeeze us and our babies in is one of my favourites. When Sam moved to Canada, I found the week before really hard, because I wanted to see her lots and lots, but to also detach, because she wasn’t going to be around any more for meet ups. The day that she came to say goodbye to us as a group, I felt a strange detached sense of emotion about it, because I didn’t want to acknowledge it. And when she came back one summer, it was just like she’d never been away and I found that hard to. Because I wanted to get back to what we’d had and it was different and I didn’t know how to get on with that.
None of this is very grown up behaviour or thinking, but I’m just being honest and saying how it is, or how I’m thinking of it right now, in my mind. Maybe I’m just not that good at friendships full stop. I don’t know.
I do know that I miss the other girls – there’s three of them, very much. And I haven’t seen them properly in months. I’ve been pants in that respect. And it’s my fault, not theirs, because I’ve had sick children, a working husband on the weekends and had to stay in London and missed the train I’d planned on getting. I feel as though the friendships are the price I’m paying for the business growing like it has. Hopefully, when I get back to some balance, the friends will still be there to get back into more of a regular arrangement with. Fingers crossed x
And at some point, I hope to get to Canada, knock on Sam’s door and ask if she’s got any cake going, as I hear she’s pretty good at that kind of thing x