They say that friends are the family you choose, and I would have to agree. Friends are there to lift your spirits, be the shoulder to cry on when you need a big old sob, totally understand all your weird/disgusting/hilarious habits and don't make you feel bad for having them, but more importantly they appreciate you being in their life.
When I first planned out this post, I was feeling a bit like the smiley poo emoji - happy on the outside but poop on the insides yet more sanitary, however I've slightly come out of that space yet still feel this is a topic I want to share as I believe many feel the same, and to be personal and relatable to you all I have to share my feelings.
I've had a long standing problem with friendships - probably since I was very young and moving around a bit - but basically I've always felt that no one ever liked me. "You're just being silly" one or two of you may say, but just like some people feel they could work harder, be better, be fitter or more successful, I always feel like the outsider.
It's that constant niggle in your brain, that fear in your chest, the over-active thought process of how you appear to others and whether you're being socially acceptable in situations. What makes this whole fear even worse is that as much as I'm desperate for friends, I find it hard to trust people fully, to invest and allow myself to completely unravel my soul, my feelings and thoughts and have someone hug me saying "I still like you and support you" in response, heck sometimes I find it difficult to follow people on Twitter because I'm so picky!
I've lost a lot of friends in the past, and now I look back in sad melancholy at the time we spent together however I feel that with the way our paths have continued forward, it probably would have faded eventually, which is still a shame. The worst is losing a best friend and like I said, friends are your chosen family so when I finally found mine and then lost them again I felt even more lost than before - you finally have a support system and then it's taken away from you again.
Maybe it's broken home syndrome, the fact I never had a fully solidified life and was constantly moving places, changing friendships and environments months at a time before begging my mum to stay in a town I've now grown tired of because I had friends. With each step towards adulthood, occasions have arisen where I lose and gain new people in my life, and each time I feel unable to fully connect and feel I can just relax and say 'hey, here's all the deep intimate details about my life, habits, thoughts and feeling, what do you think? Are you in?' and right now part of me is knocking me on the head saying "Lauren are you crazy? SERIOUSLY?!"
I have a WhatsApp chat filled with conversation that makes me smile and appreciate the lovely people I have met online (and in real life, no crazy stalkers here, yet), I have hilarious chats with fellow bloggers who just get my situation, and a whole other variety of people who I wish to meet and interact with because I believe we'd get along. Yet I don't feel deserving or accepted by any of these people, I feel I have put myself at arms length and then blame everyone else for not wanting to be my (best) friend because I'm too scared of being alone, again. I'm also scared that people will use me, make me become that repressed and fearful person I was only a few years ago, take me for granted and generally be a negative suction on my life. You just can't seem to win can you Lauren?
I want that other half of me, that second person who is enough like me but a bit different to keep myself balanced, someone who won't dismiss my problems with a lighthearted and awkward 'oh it'll be okay' or 'sorry you feel like that, it's a shame', someone who will be banging my door down wanting to have a sleepover, go shopping, invite me to their house for dinner, take a million selfies with me, spontaneously say 'let's go to the beach, I'll drive, my treat!' when they know I'm an organiser who'll freak out but enjoy the spontaneity nonetheless, someone I don't have to people please into liking me or feel I have to mother for them to feel secure from my end but not reciprocate. I want a group of friends like SATC or FRIENDS where people ask you out for dinner and drinks, where you gossip and help deal with problems, share your woes over a bottle of wine (or a mug of tea in my house) and you know deep down you are all soulmates who will be friends until you're knitting socks for your great-grandchildren.
Whilst I rant and rave about my issues with trusting people and feeling alone, my mind has mentally listed off all the people I have in my life to be grateful for:
To Ally, Saida, Kris, Meg, Elle, Ellie, Emily, Jordan, Charlotte, Summer, Sammy - thank you for pulling me out a hole I felt stuck in for a long time.
To Amanda, Jasmine, Zaineb, Helen, Bella, Josie, Angelica - some of you I've met several times and you are lovely people who I hope to see more of, and some I've never met but love talking to you, and I hope we meet soon.
So if I don't follow you on Twitter straightaway, don't be alarmed, I'm just dealing with friendship issues and probably need some time to get to know you better before I can start clambering all over you 24/7, and even when that does happen, just remember that some us want to feel reassured in themselves in moments when they feel they can't. And if you're like me and feel you're a bit lonely or not accepted by those around you, I extend to you a big warm hug and the most sincere "it's okay, we're in this together".
Friends are the family we choose, and if you let me choose you and you do so in return, then I'm 100% thankful and promise to be there for you every day. I'll also stalk the heck out for your social media so GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. Well I had to end this on a slightly more humorous note right? I'll go back to scrolling the internet....
Do you feel lonely sometimes? Have you got a big group of friends or some very close best friends? How do you connect with others? WILL YOU BE MY FRIEND?!
Lots of Love,
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