Saturday, October 14, 2017

BIG FAN

I don't think it gets any easier. Friendships and relationships that is. I find myself often wary of others due to a false presentation of who someone is. Someone acting or putting on a facade rather than being who they really are.  I often say that with me, what you see is what you get. There is no pretending. If I am smiling,  I am content or even happy. If I am quiet, I am often lost in thought or even struggling through something in my heart. If I am crying, I may be filled with joy or so very sad by something that has occurred. But my emotions and outward appearance are always true to who I am. 

When I was in high school, I discovered that mean girls was a real thing. Teen girls are such a fickle breed. One day your best friend, the next, influenced by a mean girl, they despise you, ignore you and refuse to acknowledge your existence. Or the teacher that appeared to really enjoy thier job at the beginning of year, and that kind disposition that made me think that I could ask and receive help whenever needed revealed that wasn't true,  I was made to feel stupid when I asked for help over and over again when I struggled so much with anything past basic algebra.

There was one young man at school  that I had watched for 3 years from afar. Amazing eye contact, always smiled back and made me feel unbelievable with only a glance. One day late in my senior year, he approached and took my hand in the  hallway. When he spoke, they were words that I didn't expected from him. They were vulgar, somewhat shocking, and he sounded more like a drunken sailor than someone I wanted to spend time with.

Freshman year of college, there was the older gentleman I adored, only to find he was moving his way through the entire female roster. And the boss at a local financial institution whom everyone loved, was amazing and helpful and complimented me on work all the time, then stole every idea of worth and took credit for all my work.

I had struggled with pretty much every friendship, every family relationship every encounter I had ever had,  until I was married. My husband Josh was a true as true could be. Honest as the day is long, and a blank slate. Ask him anything, he would tell you the truth and the whole story.  I was so confused as this was something that I had never experienced before. Josh helped me discover that I am a big fan of people being exactly who they are.

Because of others not always being truthful or upfront, I have found I am an amazing judge of character. I find myself studying body language,  facial expressions and looking for everything that has been left unspoken. The slight squint of an eye, the turn of a head, the pursing of lips. A lingering hand on an arm, an extended glance, uncomfortable eye contact, prolonged hugs. A smirk, a gentle hidden smile, a tear swiped away before anyone notices. A too tight hand shake, a stolen kiss, genuine laughter that leads to fits of giggles. When our words and actions sometimes are not true to form, I find myself reverting to the non verbal, to my physical observations. My own perceptions rarely fail me.

However, it can be exhausting. Constantly studying someone, observing from afar. I have also come to discover that I won't be able to understand everyone and that I just need to let it go. And that people change, over time and because of the influences surrounding them.  Sometimes for the better, and sometimes not. Grace. It is all about Grace. Covering each new relationship with Grace. If someone says something or does something that I don't like, rather than run for the hills, it is all about second chances. And sometimes third and fourth.

Some people, some relationships are meant to be pursued. Some are only meant to last for a bit, and then maybe fall by the wayside. We each need to understand that that is alright.  I want to run hard and fast after people that don't pretend, that don't try to be someone they are not. I want to surround myself with the people that are the same in big groups as they are one on one. Because through these past 42 years, I have discovered a few things. One being that I am a big fan of people being exactly who they are.

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