The wolf or the sheep

I’m having second thoughts about staying in Brighton after I finish this course. The city (almost) where I went to university. The city (sort of) where I worked before and after I went abroad. And now the city (near enough) where I’m training for my next career choice. I obviously like it here. Or maybe it was just a coincidence that I’ve spent the last three years not-quite-living there.

I’m great at making acquaintances, it seems, but piss poor at making friends. Up until recently I had gone eight years without intentionally seeing anyone I went to school with. I am still in touch with precisely two people I went to college with, and as for university, I’d struggle to tell you in any sort of detail whet more than a couple of those folks were up to.  I work at the same place for a total of eighteen months, and not once felt ‘in the loop’ with any of them. I move to a different country for over a year and meet a whole host of people, both native and foreign. I leave, and I keep in touch with no more than a handful.

And, like I said, I wouldn’t call most of these friends. It’s hard to apply that label to someone who you tell you’re available all day, every day for a week to catch up because, you know, it’s been a while and you’ve both been busy, and they don’t. Or who cancel plans with you and then don’t seem all that fussed about rearranging. Or who I feel, or rather don’t feel, the effects of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ from.

Maybe I’m applying some impossible standards to my friendships, where plans are made to touch base once in a while, even from half a world away, or sending a message out of the blue, or apologising for not getting in touch sooner. But I don’t think that I am, because I have these friends. So maybe I need to re-evaluate, stop putting in effort for no reward, shed the image of the guy who is so understanding he won’t mind if it takes a while to get round to him again, and start rewarding those that do put in effort, and actually want a two-way relationship with me. Because the only thing I’m understanding is who sees me as a rent-a-friend, and don’t actually value my presence in their life.

It probably doesn’t help that in the six years since I “left home” for university, the longest I’ve spent in any one place is a measly fifteen months. At the home I “left” three years previously. So while Brighton might not be the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ it has become after so long of perpetually being so near but yet so far, maybe six months of independent regularity that could potentially be indefinite is just what I need.

Jack out.

About Jack
A small-time traveller in a big-time world

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