I won’t lie. I’m lonely here sometimes. I don’t know a lot of people in London. Okay… scratch that. I do know some people. I work with them, and they seem okay. But they aren’t my friends (optimistically: "yet"). So, I’ll start this again.
I won’t lie. I’m lonely here sometimes. I don’t have a lot of friends in London.
Scratch that too. I’ve got one friend, and he’s currently sunning his rotten self (I don’t really harbour any hard feelings towards Colin, exactly, I’m just bitterly jealous) in Costa Rica while I’m freezing my arse off in the mean, cold streets of London (adding insult to injury: the boiler in my house was on the fritz and I had no heat or hot water this morning – balls!) so right now I don’t have *any* friends in London. And sometimes that makes me sad.
Okay… where was I? I have no friends and I’m lonely and sad. Poor Jodi.
So lately I’ve been thinking back a lot (I’ve had the time – I’m not going out much these day) on the people that have been through my life… and there have been a lot of people. I’m a fairly intense person when it comes to other people: I’m fiercely loyal, relentlessly commited, and highly demanding of people’s attentions (which is why I act out – I need attention. All of it.) But the problem is that I burn out in my friendships (and, I suppose, my relationships). I give so much, and demand so much, that no one can keep up. And most people don’t keep up. Quitters. Which is why now, (again – I suppose) I’ve become much more guarded in the last few years. Even if I still feel that sort of intensity with people, I rather assume that they don’t feel it too and so I hide how I really feel. Less pressure on the people I befriend. Less pressure on me. Less guilt when I give up on them because I feel like they have given up on me. And I’m getting bitter enough (I think my bitterness is growing proportionately to my age) that more and more I feel justified in not keeping in contact with people if they aren’t in contact with me.
This means if you don’t call; I don’t call you. You don’t email; I don’t email you. Can’t be arsed sending a Christmas card; no card for you. Etc, etc, etc. Because I’ve tried and tried and tried. I email people messages that start "I haven’t heard from you in so long, just wanted to see how you are doing". I call them (often at inappropriate times) overseas long-distance after I’ve been drinking all night. I’ve rooted people out on Facebook. I send out cars. I email on birthdays. I buy gifts on vacations. I beg for mail via my blog. And I’m fucking sick of it.
I’m not reaching out any more. I figure if I stop trying to maintain a million acquaintances, I can focus on the people who are truly my friends. And it doesn’t take much to stay in my loop: an occasional "I’m thinking about you, but am also such a lazy asshole that this is the best I can do" poke on freaking Facebook is good enough. And look – if Amelia can manage to email, I believe in my heart that anyone can.
And here’s the thing: I find it amazing that the people who have come through my life that I figure I will stay close to forever can’t be bothered to even give a poke, and yet there are others who, somehow, I’ve been lucky enough to become friends with that I feel honestly care about me and want to stay close.
And I find it remarkable that I would be so lucky, so blessed, so… fortunate to know these people, because they are better people than me. Have you read this post? I’m a complete asshole. I’m childish. I’m selfish with my love, for crying out loud. I don’t deserve to know people who are obviously the coolest people on the planet.
What the hell does this have to do with Stefanie Tarman? On the list of the world’s most amazing friends, Stef’s near the top.
Like I said, I’ve been feeling a bit blue (holidays away from home) and isolated (one friend, who has fucked off for nearly a month – I hope he’s painfully sunburned and hungover) and just basically meh. And then today I got an envelope in the mail.
I think I have mentioned that Stef took over my role at LCI and is now teaching my kids (which she consistantly calls "her kids" in her blog and picture labels, but I’m trying to get over that) and doing an amazing job of it. Well, she had all the wee monkeys make up Christmas cards and then she sent them here along with pictures of them making them.
I can’t really express how much that meant to me. As I read the cards, I cried and cried. I miss the kids a lot, and it was so wonderful to read the messages from them… to know that they didn’t forget me. It reminded me that for awhile I was very important to someone, and that I made a difference. It reminded me of how much I enjoyed my time in Korea and the memories I have of living there.
And it made me realize how grateful I need to be for friends like Stefanie, who I don’t really deserve.
Thank you so much, Stef. For your kindness, your thoughtfulness, and your friendship. I love you a lot, and miss you very much.