I am not a needy person; I don’t want you to think that. I am not demanding; nor am I someone who pours out their soul whilst in the company of friends. Yet I cannot figure out why I so often find myself so fucking alone.
I don’t have insanely high expectations of my friends. I don’t feel that I am demanding in any way, shape or form. All I want is a friend to be able to text and say, “Fancy a coffee? Pop over!” or “Want to hang out a bit later?” I really don’t think that is an unrealistic expectation to have? Or maybe it is?
I have reached the point where I am done being the person to try to set up plans with friends, only to be cancelled on, or to have to ‘book’ with them months in advance. What happened to just being able to hang out with a friend without needing to fucking schedule it in?
My best friend lived in London for close to a decade. Due to the fact that it physically wasn’t possible to ‘grab a quick coffee’ we made a point of setting up ‘bestie dates’ and would go out for dinner in Central London once a month. Sure, it meant we only saw each other once a month but at least those 4 hours were quality time when we could really shoot the shit. At the beginning of 2017 she moved to my area and started renting my apartment which is approximately 30 seconds down the road from where I am currently living. She has been there close to 5 months and I can count on one hand, and have fingers to spare, the number of time I have seen her.
I am done with asking people if they’re free at the weekend. Done with “Time for a quick coffee?” texts. I don’t understand when it suddenly became so hard to maintain a friendship. Can people just not be fucked anymore? Friends are always having someone over for dinner, or spending time with parents. I guess sometimes you get to know someone so well that you assume that they’re always going to be there. You forget that friendship doesn’t need time, care and nurturing. Sometimes people forget to remember you.
Don’t get me wrong, I would rather have a couple of really good friends than a bunch of acquaintances but is wanting some company really such a huge fucking demand? I am so.damn.lonely. With the exception of my daughter, the children I teach and my fitness class participants, I have very little social interaction with others. This is not through choice.
How do you reach out to people without screaming, “I fucking need you ok? Friends are supposed to be there for each other and I need you right now, so be there for me. Please!” I am not that kinda girl – I am not the one who lets people know I am falling apart. That’s why I come here and let my real emotions spill anonymously onto the page. I don’t want to burden people; no one does but I would just like to be remembered once in a while. Is that genuinely too much to ask?
I am no stranger to death. I have lost many close to me over the years. I held my father’s hand as he slipped away after a painful battle with cancer the day after I turned 12 years old. I have lost classmates to suicide, car accidents and tumours but I have never experienced the sudden and unexpected death of someone who I love dearly. Until now.
This experience has taught me that grief is so different depending upon the circumstances. In the past, I was able to prepare myself for the inevitable. Make sure that the words I chose in their presence used a sense of hindsight. My emotions were laid bare. Nothing left unsaid.
Unexpected death is a thoroughly different experience. It is like a tidal wave that slams you off your feet without a second to catch your breath. Before you know what is happening, you are sucked under, struggling to breath. You frantically attempt to steady yourself and set yourself upright and then it hits again, flooring you – an out of body experience as you blink in disbelief “This is not my life.”
That day is a blur of blue flashing lights, haphazardly mounting the kerb to ‘park’ my car as I sprinted towards the house. A mish-mash of paramedics, police, undertakers and the God-awful wailing of everyone in disbelief. I sat and I waited. I paced and I sobbed as they fought to preserve life for what seemed like an eternity (but in reality was approximately 90 minutes” and looked up as all 4 EMT’s slowly descended the staircase. “Why are they walking so slowly? Where has the sense of urgency gone?”
I watched numbly as the words, “We’re so sorry, we tried everything we could…” empathetically leave the young paramedics mouth and I realise she is looking at me, she is talking to me. Saying the line reserved for TV shows. Except this isn’t TV; this is real life. My life.
Leave nothing unsaid. Time is so very fucking precious.
Life throws some weird shit at you sometimes. 3 weeks ago something horrendous and huge happened to me which I don’t really want to talk about right now but it was a game-changer and I’ve spent much of the last few weeks in tears, unable to sleep and generally just going through the motions of life.
Last week, out of the blue amidst all the insanity of what was going on in my life, I received a voicemail from a guy making a film, asking me if I would consider taking part, as they were looking for someone like me to be in one of their scenes.
My first thought was, “Are you fucking kidding me? Could your timing be any worse? I am going through some full-on shit right now and I’m being asked to take part in a film project?” But then I thought to myself, maybe that’s exactly why I should say yes. I needed something else to focus on, something fun to distract me from my thoughts. And so I thought, “Fuck it!” and before I knew what I was doing, I’d text back the number the guy had left agreeing to take part.
Sometimes you just have to say “Yes!” Granted, the timing was awful but it ended up being something positive to focus on, whilst reminding me that life is about taking opportunities as and when they occur. It’s highly unlikely I would ever get a chance to do something like this again so I decided to embrace the bad-timing and throw caution to the wind.
I have just returned from the shoot. I am so glad I agreed to take part. What a buzz. Despite only being a small production there were cast and ‘film folk’ everywhere. It was really fun talking with the director about the kind of shots they wanted and how many retakes they thought they would need to get the desired effect. I can’t wait to see the project once its been edited and released.
If you ever get an opportunity to be in a film, no matter how bizarre or ill-timed the offer may be, take it. I highly recommend the experience. I’ve gotta say that tonight was probably the most fun Sunday night I’ve ever had. Sometimes you’ve just gotta say, “Yes!”
That’s a wrap.