Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Reflection... and resolve


I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front lately. The truth is, I've had a few sleepless nights and a lot on my mind - including whether to share or not. But I think I will.

I've written before about being homesick and feeling a bit lost out here, but then things started to come together - night classes, making new friends, finding things to enjoy. But there has been a bit of an issue recently. It seems that not everyone takes kindly to a newcomer joining their social group. 

It started with being pointedly excluded from a recent birthday party to which everyone else had been invited. To be fair, a few of my other friends seemed surprised at this and I took it graciously, said nothing and carried on as usual. Then another person (previously someone I saw a lot of) cut off contact too. No texts, calls, plans - nothing.

Yes, I'm aware this is straying dangerously close to schoolyard territory but bear with me. Because the whole thing has made me think a lot. I spoke to my mum (naturally) and she warned me of the perils of being involved in a group of women ('There's always one'). She suggested a bit of jealousy. But I've been part of a group before and there was no nastiness. At work, when a new girl started we always took her out to lunch and gave her the heads-up on everyone. I don't like women being mean to one another. We have enough to deal with as it is.

I'm no saint - at school it was always someone's turn to be the outcast and we all had a turn at being unpleasant. But that was a long, long time ago.

I've grown up a lot since then. And even though my first instinct was to question what I'd done or said to cause offence (conclusion: nothing at all) I quickly decided that, as I've got older and a little bit wiser, I don't care half as much about what people may or may not think of me. In this case I have nothing to apologise for. And I'm not the one with the problem. So I took the very modern step of taking this person off my Facebook account. I don't actually use it that often, but I wanted to make a stand: I won't be treated like that and I won't try to appease someone who clearly dislikes me for whatever strange reason they have.

The best thing to come out of this little situation: it has actually strengthened my resolve to love my life, enjoy what I do and be myself.

Here's what I've learned:

Be careful about who you become friends with - be choosy and make sure you have things in common
Sometimes people are odd and it's not your fault
Don't say bad things about people and stir up a hornet's nest
Take the high road
Be optimistic - real friends appear in your life when you least expect them to.

Best of all, here's what I've done:

Bought myself a bright, bright red lipstick (and worn it)
Started wearing my big statement necklaces again without feeling self-conscious
Found a whole new list of baby groups I can try with Joe (thanks to Jay for looking them up)
Taken Joe swimming on a different day - on our own - and enjoyed focusing on him
Worked hard on preparing for the craft and vintage fair 
De-summered the kitchen in preparation for my favourite time of year: autumn
Felt grateful for what I have.

The ultimate therapy for me is going out for a walk. So today I pulled on my wellies and took Joe for a little wander (between rain showers). We snipped some prickly stems of teasel to dry out in the kitchen for an everlasting display, and I noticed the blackberries and rosehips starting to colour. Autumn's definitely on the way. The garden - especially the parts where the annuals are growing - is starting to look tired and tatty.

If you've read this very long post, thank you for your patience. It's been quite cathartic.

The usual type of posts will appear in a day or two :)


14 comments:

  1. I am sorry to hear that. Your Mum is very wise, 'some' women can be so horrid. A big hug from me to you.

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    1. Thank you so much! And messages like yours restore my faith in the idea that most women are kind, supportive and thoughtful x

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  2. I like your attitude ... get the lippy on and move on.

    Sometimes certain people just don't gel with other's - maybe it's jealousy as you say, or any one of a hundred other things - but clearly you're not the problem so don't lose any more sleep over it m'dear. You never know, you may find new and far better friendships where you least expected to as long as you're open to the possibility.

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    1. Yes, I'm open to it. I'm quite shy when meeting new people and actually enjoy my own company but I also like being with other women - it's fun.

      A while ago I was wandering around Ramsbottom when a woman approached me, got talking and asked for my number. She was moving back there after many years in London and said she's like to make new friends. Initially I was a bit dubious but turns out she's very nice... so yes, things like that do indeed happen!

      And thank you for your lovely message - I appreciate it:)

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  3. I think you're being very mature - sometimes it really isn't you, it's them. and life is too short to try to please complicated people. Yay on you for counting your blessings and putting on the lippy. You'll find nicer friends in time.

    Cathy

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    1. Thank you - the friendly comments are lovely to receive. Fortunately I love spending time with just me and Joe, so at the moment I'm making the most of that while I can.

      And I know there are lots of nice people out there. I'm lucky enough to know a few already and am sure more will appear in the future... thanks again for getting in touch. I really appreciate it x

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  4. my dad would have said it was their loss, and it surely is !
    you seem pretty nice to me and some women are still stuck in the play ground, it's horrid when you come across such people but as they say round here "don't let the buggers grind you down !
    i am hoping you do move back and we can meet up and i can show you how to crochet and we can have a cup of tea and joe will play with his toys at your feet .
    love susan xxx

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  5. That made me laugh - a bit of Lancashire wisdom!
    I'm feeling a lot happier about things and am apparently now back in favour but have chosen to stay away and get on with things...
    Fingers crossed we do get back to the Pennines soon. There's been a bit of interest in our house lately but I'm not getting my hopes up until we get a real offer.
    Thank you for your message - and when we're back 'home' Joe and I can meet up with you for a crochet tutorial. I'll treat us to a cream tea in Bailey's tea room x

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  6. no, that would be my treat as a thanks for all your blog "work" x

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    1. I'll try and keep up the good work in the meantime!

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  7. That's the attitude! count your blessings, find joy in simple things and don't let the bitches get to you.

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    1. I'm trying not to - and winning! Thank you :)

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  8. Really sorry to hear that, unfortunately adults can be jealous and childish but I love your attitude. Put it behind, great friends are just behind the corner.

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  9. Thank you! I was actually asked to re-join the group on an outing last week but (politely) declined... far more important things to do!

    I agree - the world has lots of nice people in it :)

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