Wednesday, 13 July 2016

,

Social

I've struggled with meeting new people and making new friends for a long time. For the majority of my life, I was scared to introduce myself, and I didn't know what to say about myself. I wondered how people saw me - and if they saw what I saw in the mirror (I didn't like what I saw).

How quickly things change.

Now I'm here, making fun of my co-workers (10 years my senior), laptop running out of space because of all the RAW images I'm hoarding (most of which I still haven't edited), and a social calendar I wouldn't have dreamed of two years ago. Two years ago, I was sitting on my panda-print bedsheets, saying out loud that "In uni ... I'm going to be a homebody. I'm not going to go out, and my friends are going to be few but close." It turns out now, that I only got part of that prediction right, if any at all.

Everyone does friendships differently. I have friendships that take place in classrooms and lecture theatres, where we give sneaky side-eyes, and whisper a joke, and share a late night lecture snack. I also have friendships from way back when, which are less regular, but are next-level special. I have friendships where we talk about how was your day, and how shit is this, how funny is this meme, how amazing is this song, and how great are these shoes.

The other day, I went out with Alice, Elle and Tara, and we covered everything from your highlighter is so lit, to the right to have an opinion in democracy, and where the fuck is the Jigglypuff.



I met Elle in the beginning of this year, along with Tara. Elle is an energy dense fairy, and this is the second time we've shot together. Elle sinks into poses with so much grace and natural ease, so really, shooting her is just like letting her do her thing, and occasionally I suggest a really stupid idea. We spent a major part of the day together, including the long drive down Victoria Road, and that brief moment when I caught Elle in shotgun, fast asleep under Glebe evening sunshine. Elle and I are very different in a lot of ways - all of us are. I admit - and this is scary to admit - that sometimes when I spend time with friends, I feel this sense of an incredible difference. A difference in personality, in experience, in likes and dislikes, in the kinds of things we think about, and the fandoms we belong to.

   

This sense of difference scares me, every time I feel it. It scares me because it's a reminder of what it's like to be alone. That no matter what, somebody you love will disagree with you, or at least not understand you. People simply aren't built the same, and the chances of finding somebody who understands and agrees with you and is so one with you is so infinitely small, if not non-existent. This sounds absolutely terrible, I know - but I also feel so immensely reassured by this, because so long as I feel that twinge of loneliness because somebody I love just doesn't get a part of me, it also means that these people who I value and ultimately, like, are unique. There's no point in being friends with people who are exactly the same with you.

Our lives are improved when we immerse ourselves and challenge ourselves with the different. Elle wears socks with her clogs - and that's something that I'm terrified of doing. But she wouldn't be half as fun to shoot if her style and the way she talked and walked and laughed was the same as me. The same goes for all the incredible conversation the four of us shared at Badde Manors. I like that we can all see eye to eye on a lot of things, but there are parts of us that are a little different, and that's okay. Belonging in the traditional sense of the word is overrated. I don't want to be a shape or colour that fits in perfectly with the rest. I want to hold on to that element of difference, because it's that disparity that challenges us, and in turn, helps each other grow and change (hopefully) for the better.

Let's do this again sometime.
M. x
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