Sometimes, I feel like an imposter.
Sometimes, I fee like I struggle with my friendships.
This admission may come as a shock to anyone who I call a friend. And that’s not to say that I have a hard time making friends, I like to think that I’m pretty good at that, or that my friendships provide a sense of anguish for me, it’s not that either.
It’s actually rather complicated. Or at least, I make it complicated. Way more complicated than it has to be.
One of my best friends, Danielle, was recently in town. Though I only got her for about twenty-four hours, I was so happy to spend some quality time with someone that I love. We caught up, and she told me of all the things that were going on back in Halifax, in the lives of other people whom I consider really good friends. After helping her with her things into a car that would take her up island for the rest of her trip (okay, it was actually Brad who helped her), I wasn’t even back to my front door before I said to Brad, “I miss Danielle already.”
I thought about it a lot that day, what it means to miss my friends. Of all the people that I left back on the East Coast, Danielle is probably the one (besides my parents) that I talk to the most, and even then it’s not enough. We average a phone call maybe once a month (lately it’s been once every two months), but nothing could ever actually replace sitting on my bed together in front of the fan on a scorcher of a summer day, drinking ciders and laughing together as we tell stories. Every time we see each other, it’s some of the most fun, and it pains me to not know when I’m going to see her again, since there was a time when we saw each other sometimes multiple times a week.
It also made me think about my friendships with other people from back in my hometown. I haven’t been as good about contacting them to see what’s going on in their lives – and I feel terrible for it. And it’s certainly not for a lack of wanting to, I do so badly. I tell myself it’s the timezone – being four hours behind makes for a lot of planning when you want to call a friend. Calling at random sometimes isn’t the greatest idea. But part of me almost feels like I’ve been so shit at keeping in touch for over two years now, that trying to bridge that gap now would feel phony. Realistically, I know that this isn’t the case, I know that I get excited when I hear from a friend who I haven’t heard from in a while, and I certainly don’t feel like it’s a forced or not authentic connection.
But that doesn’t stop me from feeling the contradictory way that I do.
Even with friends that I’ve made in Victoria, I struggle to bring myself to reach out to them. I feel like I’m some manner of imposter. I’m a new friend in most cases, and they had full lives before I came into the picture. They’re far too busy and I shouldn’t want to make them spend time with me. Which is absolutely foolish. These people are my friends, and I’m sure would love to hang out, but it keeps me from pressing the send button when I compose a text to someone asking if they want to go grab a drink somewhere. I fear the rejection of people I consider friends, not wanting to impose on their already busy schedule, at the same time wanting to see them.
It doesn’t help that I often feel exhausted socially. I love people, and being around people, especially those that I love, but sometimes it becomes too much. There have been multiple times that I’ve left a party because the number of people there is overwhelming, or I’ve been there for a few hours and I just can’t do it anymore. I interact with people all day at my job, and sometimes when I leave my office at the end of the day the last thing I want to do is to talk to another person.
It’s a shitty feeling, especially when you actually want to talk to someone, but you can’t bring yourself to do it. It’s much easier to lay on your couch, scrolling through Facebook and Twitter and Instagram thinking that counts as interaction with people. It’s a facet for it, but it doesn’t replace actual conversations with the people in our lives.
I resolved late at night, while lying in bed and thinking about all of these things, ultimately unable to sleep because my brain wouldn’t stop, all of the connections, all of the friends that I’m missing that I am going to get better about this. I’m going to text, going to call people, because I miss them and I want to know how they’re doing without having to go to Facebook. I’m going to reach how to the people who I want to talk to, and not wait until the next time I’m in town. I’m going to connect with people who I want to see, and not wait for the next big party.
I’m going to try to be a better friend. My friends deserve the best version of me that I can possibly be for them, and I’m going to give it them. Whether they’re here or there.
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