How it feels to have friends

Hello people of the Universe!

My title is not complete. I should have written “How it feels to have friends when you barely had ones before“. This is the right way to begin my blog post.

I don’t really know how to call myself. We are in a world where everyone needs — or feel the need — to have a label but I can’t describe myself in one word. People say nerd and I agree. I also add intellectual, passionate, good speaker, bookaholic, questioning mind, perfectionist, idealist, caring about people’s look and opinions, rational and emotional, confused by some cultural norms and totally uncomfortable in a crowd. Among many other things.

One day, a friend called me “an old soul”. I can relate. It is the best definition I can give.

Now, you may imagine it was not easy to make friends. I didn’t play with young kids because I didn’t like that. I prefered books and drawing. I was quite bad at being mean to other kids like when you are older and try to impress and make obey the younger. I remember once, I had a huge bag full of marbles and some kids didn’t have ones to play so I gave them some. When I went home, my bag was almost empty and my dad told me to ask my marbles back. It was the kind of things I was good at, giving to make people love me. My dad had understood something I didn’t: most kids had marbles but lied to me to get more. I was the naive child. And I had few friends.

I appreciate silence in a world that never stop talking

Then, it is for everyone the same I think, you make friends one day and even if you grow apart, you stick together. You are used to their presence. You don’t really wonder if they are good friends or not. Until the day you realize how different you are and how hurtful it is to stay with those people. It happened two or three times to me. I couldn’t trust them anymore. The routine was so perfect that I hadn’t noticed their change. We didn’t have the same values anynore, nor the same purposes in life. And I had even less friends.

Fortunately, across the years, I made friends that are still in my life today. We are different and alike, it depends, but we are here for each other and this is the most important. More recently, I also made friends at university and I started doing things I love but never did with others by fear of their reaction. I went to The European Researchers’ Night and it was amazing to talk about science and share that moment with curious friends. I also begin to understand that I don’t need many friends to be happy, just a few are enough if you share the same interests, passions, and love. If you care about each other. Thanks to the new people I met, I do things I would have never done before. It may sound silly but I go outside, I plan events. I say yes when I want to say no, when my body cries no no no and my heart screams yes yes yes. I force myself to experience the world. It is a huge change for the solitary, introvert, afraid of crowd I am.

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Now, I am going to tell you more about my other friends, those I never or barely see. I am speaking of my friends from all around the world. When I realized I needed people around me to speak with but also to be me with, I went on the Internet and looked for penpals. Sweden, Finland, Israel, Canada, the US, India. It was a way to spread a bit of me all over and add a bit of them to my being. My American friend saved my life. There is no other words. Thanks to her, I rose again, I began to believe in who I am, to see the beauty of life and to open myself to others instead of being scared of them. I also started getting more involve in movements like feminism and defending my opinions with more “rationality” and respect than with anger and violence. I still have the habit to keep quiet some of my passions because I am afraid of what people could think about me… I wish I could be loved by everybody and I still struggle to change this part of me to suffer less. Getting the approval of others is a full time job and it is exhausting and hurtful. Thanks to my foreign friends, I understood I don’t need to be pretty, or to agree to everything they say, or to hide what I really like to be loved by them and by people in general.

You don’t know how good it feels to have friends when you barely had ones before.

 Love,                                                                                                                        Marion

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