For The People Who Have Bits and Pieces of Me That I Never Gave Them

23 December, 2018

The thing that bothers me the most about being an adult is the amount of three-on-a-scale-of-one-to-ten-relationships I have to maintain. When you're a kid, everyone is your friend. As a teenager you have a select group of friends and BUT as an adult you have a bunch of friends, half friends, quarter friends, and five percent friends. And you have to make small talk with every person you meet and keep them in your pocket. You have to go and say hi to them when you see them in a supermarket even though you've only ever interacted with each other twice . . . unless you're like me and you'll walk all the way to the produce section to avoid waving at somebody.

I've always been extremely uncomfortable with paying for my own things and just making small conversation with people who I know aren't going to stay in my life. It's something so simple and unavoidable yet I've never been good at it. I've been getting used to this and find that it's so much easier now to just talk to someone and ask questions without thinking too much about it.

It's specifically something I notice adults do, because you have to talk to random people about random things in order to make the world not such a bad place. You have to keep little pockets of light interaction to break up all of the permanent things you have to do. But it's hard to carry around percentages of friendships you know will never be whole.

This is probably why it bothers me a little bit to have so many followers online or phone numbers in your contacts that you will never use or invite for coffee. It's feels like mental clutter.

There are people I know who have bits and pieces of me that I never wanted to give them. That I now know are in my life and when I see them somewhere they suddenly know about the clothes that I like or my favorite smoothie. Acquaintances know too much to be strangers but not enough to be friends. People I met over the summer but never saw again know every one of my good hairstyles and I'm socially required to wave and ask them about their weekend but I could never lean on them when I really need it.

I think this is why so many people feel lonely in a crowd.

It's why school assemblies are filled with people you have spent your entire childhood together but you could never invite 99% of these people to your birthday party. You know that feeling? It's these little unspoken social rules that take so much energy to maintain little relationships it would be rude to ignore, yet have so few real people I can talk to about real problems. It takes time and confidence away from friendships that I could be actually developing and confiding in.

I know I'm getting better at speaking to people but I'm still trying to find when to cross that line between when I'm supposed to be attached to someone and when I'm not. When to reach out to someone and know I can rely on them versus letting someone just be someone. I want to be someone people feel they can talk to and I want to know when I'm pushing too far or when someone wants to be in my life for the long haul.

Life would be so much easier if we could just ask these questions, right? Could you imagine going up to a friend and asking them if they want to be a go-to-the-beach-and-buy-lunch-together-friend or a like-all-of-my-pictures-and-tell-me-if-these-shoes-are-ugly-friend? How do you know? I'm working on it.


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  1. Oh my goodness. This post! There were too many quotable lines in here to copy and paste into this comment, but DANG, this one especially:

    "People I met over the summer but never saw again know every one of my good hairstyles and I'm socially required to wave and ask them about their weekend but I could never lean on them when I really need it."

    Just all of this!!! Man, do I feel this. Like, social media has made it possible for us to simultaneously know people without really *knowing* people. I love the way you write and how you think about these things because these are things people never really come out and say and I WISH THEY WOULD. I think for me it's just a matter of finding one or two really close friends who you can talk about these exact things with. Who don't play the game of the false social interaction and want something genuine.

    BTW I avoid people in the grocery store as well so you are not alone!! Loved this post. <3

  2. Thank you so much for your comment! It's kinda funny how complicated people are! I really agree with the social media thing because we can control how people perceive us online, right? Everything will just fall into place someday! ♡


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