I read a really interesting article on LinkedIn a few months ago, that has stayed with me.
A woman lived her life being told that she was nice, and she lived her life believing she was nice. That she was a nice person, and those that met her thought she was nice.
At a school reunion, a girl approached her and said that she always remembered a day she fell over on the stairs, and the nice girl didn’t say anything, or help her up, because she was with two friends that were mocking the girl that was down.
She had thought that because she wasn’t mocking along with her friends, she was being nice.
She realised then that being nice, and being good are two different things.
Being good is what we should strive for. Good isn’t always nice. It’s honest, it’s straight-talking, it has the best intentions at heart. But good isn’t always the easiest thing to say, or the easiest thing to hear either.
Regardless, I would rather leave this world having people say I was a good person, rather than a nice one. And this excuses my behavior.
Years ago when I was 17 I developed and performed a short play for my AS Level drama exam, entitled “Alone But Not Lonely”. It was about a woman who was single when everyone around her was coupling up and getting married. She stood out like the lone thorn in a sea of roses. She aggressively told people that she was alone, but she wasn’t lonely. Her life was filled with so many people that made her life rich and brought her happiness.
I think I am now that woman. I have an incredible network of friends. Some I see regularly, others I speak to once a month, a few I contact daily. Friends that know everything about me, fair weather friends, friends I’ve lived with, friends that are in couples.
Quite a lot of friends that are in couples.
And I’m not lonely. My life is as rich and as happy as it was told by my 17 year-old self foretold it to be.
But, sometimes it is painfully lonely. Sometimes you wonder why you are still single as people pair off around you. You feel left out for no reason. And you feel disconnected.
But tomorrow I probably won’t feel lonely. Just tonight, for now.
Where you pretend you’re not interested. I’ll pretend I have better things to do with my time.
I can wait for you to make the first move, but when you do I’ll ignore it for a while.
Let’s not talk as much as we’d like in case we seem too keen, and make sure that everything sounds non-committal. (We don’t want to appear too dependent, do we…?)
We might even have fun and pretend to be someone we’re not hoping that you might be more interested. We wouldn’t want to base a relationship on honesty, would we?
I fucking hate dating.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
By Mary Elizabeth Frye
Have my cuddles.
Have the cake I baked for you for no reason.
Have the birthday card I mail you to work.
Have my drink when yours is spilt.
Have my shoulder whilst I do make nice on your back.
Have my bed when you’re between flats.
Have my ear when you got that good news.
But most of all, have my time.
It’s free, and I’ll give it to you until I have none for myself.
"Would you come to tea?"
Said the rabbit to the bear.
“But rabbit” said the bear with woe,
“I won’t fit on your chairs!”
So rabbit went to beaver,
And whispered in his ear.
A day had passed when at bear’s door,
Rabbit, grinning, did reappear.
"Would you come to tea?"
Said rabbit to bear once more.
“Our friend beaver built you a chair,
So you needn’t sit on the floor!”
I can’t tell you that it will be plain sailing, or that there will be any sailing at all for a long time. You think it’s going to be easy and fun but really it’s terribly bumpy and often dire, if not embarrassing.
Dating is hard. For the most part.
I’m not one of those girls that flits and jumps from one relationship from another. I seem to just float about waiting for someone to give me a story to make my friends laugh.
So don’t come to me for dating advice. Because I don’t date.
I’m not sure if I’m texting a brick wall or if you’re silently reading everything I say to you and choosing to punish me for trying to build a bridge between us.
I hope you’re just taking it all in ready to get back in contact when you’re back to yourself. I miss curry and Stargate nights. (I don’t miss your cat.)