Friends

Friends

Over the past year or so, I started to make the friends I should have been making during my ill-fated marriage. We had no other friends. I wanted to, but he was so clingy it was nearly impossible. I accepted that as a temporary state. I didn’t realize the marriage was also temporary.  Imagine growling sounds here.

So I have various friends. And I have also started to cultivate connections with people in my field. The dreaded “networking.” Or as I learned from a course on Lynda.com by Lauren Bacon, “building community and connecting with others” rather than “networking.” It’s about meeting different people, not just people like oneself. But it’s about being authentic, real, genuine. Of course the conferences I went to probably had some facade-ish aspects to them – or my behaviour did. But I’m gonna keep trying. My networking is turbo-charged and it’s gonna be a lifelong habit. No more will I rely on who or what I have, not like I stupidly did in my marriage.

But in some ways, a facade is needed even in friendships. One in particular is a relatively new friend that seems to really like me, or so she has said more than once in the few months she’s known me. She wants me to come to her place, she says. I have been twice. I’m not crazy about going there or being there, even though she has a cat, and I love cats. I liked our conversations at first, when they were kind of intense, but now she’s relaxed into prattling about mundane things that are of no interest to me, and she doesn’t see that. I mention things of interest to me, and she never ever delves into them. She moves on to another mundane thing. What does one do in this situation? I don’t know! The facade is needed because I donno what to do with my frustration when that happens. It’s a mismatch.

I realized it was a mismatch one time when I really needed someone to talk to and my truth got too intense for  her. I’m sorry, but I have lived a dark life and I can’t say “Yeehah!” to your platitudes. Basically the implication is to hide the darkness, don’t acknowledge it, so she can prattle on about how wonderful all the mundane things are, like typical landscaping and so on. She’s told me more than once to lower my standards, as she has. That is not my way.

This is going nowhere, because we are going in different directions. I want a new career and she just wants to enjoy her retirement as much as possible. Her brain has slowed down, and I am honing mine to compete in a new career, in a job market full of mostly younger people. Or maybe really it’s nowhere because I don’t want to listen to what she wants to talk about and she apparently is the same way about what I want to talk about.

We are taking a dance class together. I’m not crazy about the dance class. The teacher is a bit disorganized. She gives instructions and then doesn’t follow what she said, so we can’t follow here. And when she’s winging it, she doesn’t have a method that allows you to follow. I liked the other dance teacher, the Latin one, much more high energy. An actual workout. This one is bellydance, and she spends way too long on one isolation, and I tend to feel cramped in whatever area we’re working on. Twenty minutes or a third of the class on one isolation is too much. More than 10 sets of 8 beats of just chest slides or hip drops is too much. Especially when followed by another 10.

This friend has another friend with a hobby farm, something I would dearly love to have, at least half an acre, preferably four acres. And this friend gave my friend some composted manure, and she offered it to me, since I’m a rabid gardener.  I appreciate it very much. Very thoughtful and apropos to my interests. I feel like a bit of a jerk that I don’t want to go to her place and that I am bored of her, but I accepted her gift. I don’t like playing board games unless there is really good conversation to go along with it.

And I really don’t like the smell of spilled wine gone mouldy and cat pee. I guess she can’t smell it, but I can. The compost had no particular smell, but she was suspicious about it, as if it was dirty. “It hasn’t been processed” and “I don’t really know what composting is.” Well, JFGI. There were worms living in it. It was basically very broken down and soil-like, with some bits of straw or grass fibres left.

I hope her health problems work out for the best and she enjoys her retirement, but she’s too low energy and unthinking for me to really connect with. How to ease out of it without burning bridges.

Acceptance and letting go

Acceptance and letting go

I would prefer to hang onto old, cracked, and shabby things. Wabi-sabi is good enough for me, and preferable to new and shiny. But in this case I concede the need to let go.

We aren’t comfortable with each other, and haven’t been since the separation. That’s almost two years ago now, and things weren’t great before that. When he ended our sex life, that was the death knell. He thinks I caused the dead bedroom, whereas to me, clearly, I was willing to carry on and he was not.  As with everything else.

Was it ever good? Was it ever secure? There were brief moments of basking in the wonder of seeming-closeness, but it was never that good. Always insecurity lurked in my question, “How can you love me?” Oh, right, you really don’t. Punch in the gut: I accepted this state of being, this lack of connection. Can I connect with anyone, ever?

I remember once I was trying to make conversation with a colleague that I disliked. Suddenly he burst out with, “You’re not connecting with me.” I was astounded. Back in those days, the concept of connecting with someone was not really a frame of reference for me. People have never been an area of expertise for me. Marketing, diplomacy, influence? I’m the opposite, a geek of some sort.

But with my former sweetheart, I thought we would grow together, nurture each other, always care about each other. He said a few times recently that he cares in his own way. Hmm, a way that includes absolute unilateral demands out of nowhere, shifting goal posts, and General Madness (the guy in yesterday’s post. See painting.) I don’t like being cared for in that way. It’s better than being hated, but cold comfort, that.

I hate to let go, but I have to accept that we aren’t going to sit down and sort it out between us. He wouldn’t do that two, three years ago, never mind now. Oh, and the capper, something he said somewhere during the last year. He was always afraid of me. Now it’s my fault that he put himself below me. He had fear; that must be my fault. I don’t believe that, but I know that’s how he sees it. I always saw that he put himself below me. Then suddenly he put himself above me. I don’t think we were ever equal, and equality is a thing that seems critical to me. Equal partners. My ideal, not his.

So it’s “Good” Friday, a time of ending, of suffering, of seeing my own failings, and having compassion. Yes, I have it for him, but today it will be for me. I have never had enough of it.

I’m not a Catholic or a christian or even religious in the slightest, so I googled what Easter is all about. Amazingly, the term “Happy Easter” can actually mean “Talk to the hand” or “Fuck off bitch,” apparently. I say this because of an unfortunate interaction I had with noisy people outside my door today. After claiming the hallway was not a transitional area but rather more of a hangout type social area where loitering was perfectly appropriate, this woman tried to end the discussion by saying “Happy Easter,” ie “Talk to the hand” of Seinfeld fame. I guess her happy Easter didn’t include having any compassion for someone driven mad by her group-yap right outside my door.

So, I can accept and let go, but there are fresh new irritants around every corner, it seems. I don’t use religious euphemisms like “Talk to the hand,” so I translated it for her then and there.