Today I had a great day with my friends Amanda. (Both their names are Amanda.) Hanging out with them always makes me feel good. I never leave spending time with them and cry on my way home. I never scratch my head and wonder if they liked me. I never look at the clock and wonder if I have been there long enough to leave without being rude. I never feel like they are judging me, I never wonder if I am good enough or funny enough or if they like me. I never have to ask myself later why I was invited, and if they were just inviting me because x, y, z. I still worry about being too annoying, talking too much, or wearing out my welcome. But, they make me feel good and happy.
Being around them, and hearing them talk about me is good for the soul. Even if they make fun of me for being a light weight, or for not being able to say no to the door to door salesmen that walk right up to the "no soliciting" sign and ring the doorbell.
But, there are other people in my life. People who every single time I hang out with them I leave wondering if they really like me. I leave wondering if I annoyed them too much. If I am good enough to be their friends.
People who every time I am around them they are negative. They spend the entire time I am around gossiping about other people. Comparing their lives with others. Trying to one up, constantly competing, constantly trying to be better than everyone else around them.
There are people who when I leave their house, or hanging out with them, I cry. Literally. I try hard never to cry in front of people but I am a big cry baby in private. I cry because I feel worthless. I cry because I feel ugly. I cry because I feel annoying. I cry because the entire time I was just doing whatever I was doing I felt awkward, embarrassed, out of place. I don't feel welcomed, or loved but like every word I am saying is being analyzed for truth, like every movement I make is being watched, like they heard rumors about me, and gossip, and lies but they are looking for me to confirm it.
You know if you look for something you will find it, even if it isn't really there.
And these feelings happen way too often.
Tonight A & A and I had a blast. I made a ham, mashed potatoes and corn. We watched the new Twightlight and Dinner for Schmucks. We drank Sangria and we laughed. We threw boxes of crackers at each other and we talked, a lot. I spent eleven hours with them and not once did I look at the clock to see if I had been there long enough, not once did I feel awkward, judged, or out of place. I felt at home and accepted for me. All my quirks and all my issues. We didn't compete with each other. We didn't one up each other. We simply enjoyed each other.
I put the ham bone in a crock pot, every intention of making ham and beans tomorrow. But, I didn't pay attention and put entirely too much garlic in with the water. Within a couple hours the entire house smelled awful. I looked up, in the middle of Twighlight, and said, "At least we don't have to worry about the Vampires attacking here. There is enough garlic to keep the vampires away." Later, the smell was driving me nuts to Amanda sprayed Fabreze and lit a candle. All that did for me was add another layer of scent to the room.
And I realized. In my life I am garlic. I am overpowering in large doses, but in small amounts I add flavor to a dish, bring out the natural beauty and enhance situations. In large doses, I stink and can hurt a room.
I also realized, there are so many people in my life that I excuse their behavior. I let them hurt me; I let them make me uncomfortable. I allow myself to keep hanging out with them, and I keep crying every single time I leave. Every time. Whose fault is that? It is my fault for continuing to go back and be around them.
I am working on the word no.
No. I will not let you talk down to me. No. I wont compete with you. No. I wont let you continue to lie about me and spread rumors about me that are completely false. No. I wont be the scapegoat for your pack. No. I wont let you use me for a bank account. No I wont let you use me as a babysitter. No. I wont let you use me as cook. No. No. No.
Friendship is give and take. And in many of the friendships in my life I have to initiate everything. I have to be the one to rescue everyone. I am the one used whenever anything goes wrong, but never when things are good. I am the person ran to in cases of emergencies or problems but not in cases of joy, or even day to day activity. I am the one that is a friend when they need something but only when they need something.
I am content with the friends in my life who make me feel good when I am around them. I don't need negativity. I don't need to feel used. I don't need to feel like I am simply disposable.
I am not perfect. I am a big personality. I am goofy. I am a kid. I say things sometimes without thinking. I am garlic. In large doses I stink. I get it.
But… You need to pair food up with like foods. You don't put garlic in chocolate cake. You pair it with onion and celery to make amazing sauces.
Because sometimes, no matter how much you try to mask garlic, all you end up doing is having two layers of stink.