“Kylie World” is what they used to call it.
I was told that from a young age I was easily entertained and lived in my own little world. My parents are most quoted to say they could drop me a in potato field for a few hours and I’d still make friends. I had thousands of imaginary friends and I played with all of them at once. I could easily talk to anyone and I was fiercely fearless and overtly happy.
Despite this par to f my personality I spent most of my late elementary school and middle school years painfully shy and locked away from the world, never letting anyone in.
I grew into my personality in high school embracing spontaneity, letting loose my eccentric personality, never giving a care for what others thought and acting bold, and I prided myself on living life with open arms and an open heart.
However, there’s always been this…thing.
Who doesn’t dream of a “best friend for life?” That friend you’ve known since you were in the womb, you grow up knowing each other and you spend lots of time together.
I had that. This friend and I shared mothers who were college friends and we were almost a year apart in age. We spent a lot of time together and little girl me was convinced we’d be friends forever.
Until we started to grow apart.
We’re certainly opposites in personality and we definitely we not complimenting personalities. It stung to see us grow apart. Birthday after birthday I felt the sting of distance as I was pushed off to the side and ignored. I’m sure I did the same to her to some extent, and I regret every minute of it, but I’ll never forget the countless birthday parties where I was left alone in the room, ignored by all her sorority-girls-in-the-making friends, and spending her birthdays chilling on my sleeping bag waiting for tomorrow.
It dawned on me the other day that this affected me more than I thought it ever had.
I’ve been drawing closer to three friends in particular in this last year. One is practically my soulmate and the other two are really great friends (and we’re even considering buying a house together because we can). We’ve been on road trips, catching sunsets, had sleepovers as adults, built adult-sized forts and we do just about anything and everything together.
Then one day i started to feel myself closing off. I started to draw inward and push these friends away. Ignoring their calls and texts, frustrated by everything they said and wanted nothing more than to find new friends and start over.
Why? Because I’m afraid to be close to people. Little girl me had allowed herself to draw close to wrong friend and she ended up hurt. Adult me had drawn close to a friend who became nearly the worst boyfriend ever and then the most annoying ex. I can’t help my past and until now I didn’t realize how much it had screwed up my relationships with people.
I had to be honest with my friends and told them: “I feel the need to warn everyone. I feel myself building walls, so if I try to drive you away or distance myself I’m sorry. I’m trying to break down the walls and figure out why they’re even being built.”
It turns out, I was not the only one. All four of us have been doing the same thing and honesty brought it to light and broke the walls for us.
Today as I sat in reflection I realized that I have some great friends. I have the blossoming of new friends on the horizon and I have these three friendships only growing stronger and I couldn’t be happier. Sure, there’s some things I want more of – like spontaneous hang outs and what nots (I have a whole list) – but right now, I’ve got three best friends, dozens of new friends, and a sister-from-another-mister that will be my friend even when we haven’t talked for months.
What more could I really ask for?