Ever watched how I met you mother? You know that sitcom where a guy is explaining to his kids all the events that led up to him meeting their mother… well I think that actually it’s pretty true of life when we all look back and work out how things unfolded to get to where we are. I had this though whilst during my hair after my shower and that though my led to today’s blog post.
I’d just been tagged into a photo by a lovely lady and fellow blogger that I now regard to be a friend, a good friend and yet had some unfortunate things not happened I would never have met her. Isn’t that odd? The painful stuff led to something awesome, a new friend. This is a lady I’d never have crossed paths with, I’ve never worked with her, we don’t really have the same music taste, I like metal clubs and vodka, she is considerably more upmarket in her tastes and drinks gin! And yet, this lovely lady is actually someone who I have a fair bit in common with in a fair few ways. She’s also on the other side of domestic abuse, hers a controlling situation where she could not leave. This lady who I see as a strong minded beautiful woman went through some very similar things to me.
So the series of unfortunate events… i.e. my terrible dating history, getting dumped in Rome at that point led to me accepting and invite from a male work colleague (also a friend) to go out and drown my sorrows because we were both getting over break ups. Little did I know I would be introduced to his group of friends, one of which was this lovely girl!
Now, if you hadn’t guessed, I struggle with female company, not because I don’t like other girls… more because I’m a tomboy and I have no idea how to do girl talk, I’ve never really been one for fashion, or celebrity gossip or all the other things is girls are expected to fill our lives with. Not that I think all girls really do this. I was bullied at school, by girls, why? Well I wasn’t very girly, I was a little bit different, whilst they were all playing with dolls, I had an A-Team van and some transformers, because that was what I liked. I wasn’t sporty so didn’t fit in with the sport crowd, I didn’t really give a shit about my clothes or my hair so didn’t fit in with the fashionistas, I wasn’t popular, boys did not fancy me at all! And I was quite geeky and outspoken. I was down right weird to be honest, but lacked self esteem so unlike my daughter who is rocking the weird right now, I was not.
So it’s a learned behaviour that girls are nasty and a bit back stabby, I sometimes keep my distance. I find girls can be a bit like cats, you know, when you adopt a new cat and the others just hiss at it… yeah I’m the new one. This was of course reinforced by my experiences of mothers in the playground when I did get the chance to be mom for the day… I was often the odd one out because of course most of the time I wasn’t there to be part of that group and so often felt I was being viewed sideways with suspicion by the others.
Girl workmates, no dramas, we’re comrades, therefore we get on! But out of context girl friendships, that’s new to me. And actually really valuable because I’m learning to play nice with my own kind and that not all girls are mean.
When I first started being on my own, I already had one close female friend who wasn’t a work colleague, a fellow mom who also didn’t fit in. And a couple of others I’d met in various groups and was able to learn we’re okay because there was the context of the club. But the idea of “hanging out with your girlfriends” as I was so often told I should now do at the time was like… “WTF?!? All my best friends are boys?!?”
I remember reading about the IT girl who had no female friends so her male friends sorted her hen do… I always imagined this would be me! Not that I will ever have a hen do… who is gonna marry this? Lol! Well more, I’m not sure I want to do getting married either… that’s a lot of commitment and I can’t even make up my mind about my lipstick and commit to it so I have a long way to go before I can commit to anything bigger! I did however feel relieved that there were other girls like me who had grown up and worked in a predominately male culture and just kind of lived that way too.
So my series of unfortunate events so far have led to…. getting closer to friends I already had… a few other friends now going through similar series of unfortunate events getting closer to me and us sharing our shitty stories, empathising and feeling better. A now very good new female friend who I’d have never otherwise have met.
After worrying for such a long time that I’d be alone forever because I can’t make friends too easily, suddenly I’m realising the only barrier was me. If I’d never have taken to opportunities, accepted invitations, normally I’d have felt too embarrassed to meet new people and socialise with strangers, I would not have the friends I now have today. Even as I write today it’s hitting home that actually your friends really should come before any romantic relationship. Because it’s your friends who will be there for you if it all goes wrong, they are the ones who will help you get over the humps, cheer you one and sometimes help you pick up the pieces when stuff gets fucked up. That’s the beauty of friendship, it’s a give and take thing. Real friends will be happy if you find the right guy and want to help you bury the body of the wrong guy… it’s my friends who I can now go out with, in fact, thinking about this, it’s something I did before when I was younger, but lost when I let a relationship come before the friends I had. You never fully lose touch but it’s never the same and people move on.
So I’m enjoying being single, having friends from all walks of life and particularly grateful to the series of unfortunate events that lead to the better things that were to come as a result of not moping alone and getting out there anyway. We all have those moments when we sing Mariah Cary “without you!” And think we’re doomed, but it really doesn’t have to be true… actually, I can live if living is without you, and you and him over there too… because life really does carry on we just have to choose to participate…