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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

29. Friendship

Sometimes, I joke that being married to Matt is tough for my ego because he is the kind of person EVERYBODY loves and wants to be friends with, and therefore an impossible ‘act’ to follow.  Me, on the other hand?  I feel people either like me or don’t, with quite a few quick to ‘pigeon hole’ me with preconceived presumptions.  But hey, we can’t all be as magnetic as Matt.  And so, after years of crying “Why don’t the masses adore me so?”, I no longer fret about it anymore.  Not that it’s a competition, of course!

But on a more serious note, I came across this saying last week: “Some people come in your life as blessings, others come in your life as lessons”.  It got me thinking about all the people who’s paths I’ve crossed over the years – the good, the bad, and the ones who 'straddle the grey in-between'.

The flight attendant / events promoter who encouraged me to believe in myself and chase my dreams – giving me my first grown-up professional singing job; the hairdresser flatmate who taught me not to be such a gullible pushover – after she not only ‘took over’ my flat but also racked up bills in my name; the big-hearted working girl who lived next door and took on a motherly role – whilst asking if I would keep a ‘look-out’ for her whilst she was with a client.  Ah, the memories!  The people who came into my life to either be my cheerleader or teach me lessons (however hard) that would mould me.  And I am thankful.  For the kindness and love shown, as well as the lessons.

And learn from those lessons I try, though I have noted that my self-deprecation seems to sometimes backfire.  As a girlfriend, (let’s call her “S”), recently commented, “Mish, you sure know how to attract them!”  She was referring to my knack of attracting unsolicited advice and comments – normally of a negative and vindictive nature.  S said she thought maybe it was because I was too open and honest, which afforded certain types to take liberties and cross WAAAAAY beyond the line of what is polite.  And maybe she’s right.  Or maybe, it’s a lesson that I need to develop thicker skin!

And yet, despite the spiteful (character building?) individuals I have met who are malicious (both directly to my face and otherwise), leading the nomadic existence that we have for the past few years, I have been incredibly lucky with the number of gracious people who have welcomed me into their lives.  Who have loved me in spite of (or maybe even because of!) my vagueness and my shortcomings.  Scattered around Australia, Asia, the US and Europe, and though I have not spoken to some of them for quite a number of years, the writing of this piece has made me reminisce.. 

Of the crisscrossing of paths, meetings of the heart and mind, of shared dreams, and even the differing of views.  Of encounters that are so fleeting, I grieve at the brevity.  And the ones that transcend dissimilar backgrounds, creed and language, growing into beautiful friendships between kindred spirits, where the passage of time elapsed becomes irrelevant whenever you meet.

And so, I want to put it out there, to all my friends wherever you are, regardless of whether or not you are still in my life: 

I am thankful for my friends who have taught me when I needed teaching, guided me when I was lost, rallied when I was filled with self-doubt, and made me laugh when I took myself too seriously.  My life has been richer and my memories more vibrant because of you.  Thank you.


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