I’ve always had rather low self esteem. Along with not liking myself, comes a feeling of wondering why people want to be my friend.
It’s something I’ve struggled to understand for many years. I spent a good number of years pulling myself back from those around me. So, anyone who could manage to get close enough to matter was extremely rare. It takes time and a large amount of trust to allow anyone to get close to me.
Right now, I have one really really close friend. She’s amazing. Like many people I’ve met recently, we first came face to face at Ignite Boulder. I think I’ve written about this project before. I used Ignite Boulder as a way to meet people away from the keyboard (AFK) who I already followed on Twitter. This one night though, a young woman saw me talking to someone else and made it her mission to meet me. As I remember, she told me later, she climbed over chairs to get to me.
We are so close now, that another friend told me recently that someone had asked her if this friend is trans since we are so close. She isn’t. She has short hair. And she doesn’t like makeup. But, trust me she’s not gay or trans.
Sometimes I’ll just look at her and wonder why she is my friend. What does she see in me that I fail to see in myself? And this thing she sees in me. If I don’t see it, can it possibly be real? I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about this. I even ask her why she’s my friend. She tells me that I’m awesome. She likes that I hack everything. She says I’m very smart. And that I have a great memory.
She’s gone out of her way many many times to help me. So many, I’m not sure I could ever pay her back. I stopped keeping track some time back.
One night recently, she picked me up from her way back from the airport so we could continue my cooking lessons. She volunteered to teach me how to cook one dish a week. I make a good pizza. But, when it comes to just about anything else, I’m horrible. Anyway, she picked me up at my new residence (more on that in a later post). And I could easily see that she was exhausted. She and her family are Bahai. And every year, there are 19 days that usually fall in the beginning of the beginning of March when they fast. That means during these 19 days, they eat breakfast before sunrise and don’t eat dinner until after sunset. In between, they don’t eat or drink anything. She’s a bit of a night owl. So, I don’t think she gets much sleep this time of year.
As soon as I saw how tired she was, I begged off the cooking lesson. There was no reason to put her through something when she had such a long day. But, she said no. I immediately started looking for an easy to cook dish we could do that was as easy as making a sandwich.
When we were passing through Louisville/Superior area on US-36, I looked up from my phone. I just had an epiphany. I looked up. Then I looked at her. Then I looked forward. I told her I had had an epiphany about something. But, I told her I wasn’t quite ready to talk about it yet. I promised to tell her before the end of the night.
Later on that night, after we had eaten and while I was clearing the dishes, I took my phone and typed into the note app on my iPhone. Then, I put it on the counter in front of her.
“My epiphany earlier: Perhaps why people hang out with me is because they enjoy my company as much as I enjoy theirs. It never occurred to me before that I might be of value to somebody else.”
Perhaps I’m making some progress in this life, despite myself.