So that old friend I met up with? What I started out to say in the last post, was that we had a looong conversation about connections. It’s embarrassing to say, but I find it really hard to connect with people sometimes, or maybe it’d be better to say to develop connections. People I bump into on a daily basis, like in the local shops, on the school run, library etc. I might see them more often than some of my family, but I find it really difficult to get to know them, or be myself with them rather than who I think I should be, saying what I think I’m supposed to say. It’s simultaneously exhausting and disappointing. It’s tricky making friends as you get older – you have more fear than you had when you were younger, said what you thought in that split second and didn’t really care. But not even friends – just striking up some kind of warmth with people that form a teeny part of your life. My sense of humour can be pretty odd at the best of times, which I share with Mr T thank goodness, so I do have to think twice before I crack a joke (it’s for the best). The school run is probably one of the best examples. All the other mombies seem to know each other and it’s hard to break into a little clique even if it’s not a clique but just two people talking. You don’t want to be the crazy person poking their way into a group like hiya!
Talking to my lovely friend made me realise how the problem is partly that you might see the people often, but you spend so little time and space with them that even if it’s repeated, it’s not a conversation most times, and if there’s kids involved, forget any kind of sensible chat. I worked in a polling station for the EU referendum and spend 14 hours with four people I’d never met before. And I got to know them a little bit, in a weird, Big Brother type of way. Party because we spent a long period together, talked about anything and everything and that’s how you get to know people. Over the course of the day my weird sense of humour even came out a little bit. Funny part is that we said cheerio as we locked the gates on the church hall and that was it. So how do you make connections that last and how do you get over the strange moment where you have to put yourself out there and maybe ask someone for their number, or if they’d like to meet up and do something? If you find out, let me know. In the meantime I’m going to practise, like a language oral exam at school, the art of modern conversation, being interested in who I’m talking to and trying to spark a little warmth in the playground.