Friends and distance

A few days ago, a conversion with a friend back home really had me thinking. We were talking about the past few months, about new and old friendships, about our attitudes.

If you know me, you probably also know I’m not overly friendly. I tend to shun people; I’m kind and polite enough, and I’ll make conversation if I think some might need help or just some company. But my favourite way to end a day in is my bed with a book, around 10 or 11 pm, and not in a club in the wee hours. I don’t feel ashamed and don’t feel bad about it… it’s just like I am (and it’s probably also due to the fact that I have low energy levels all the time…).

This of course means I don’t make friends easily. Friendship is a really slow thing for me. I knew this. Forming my current group of friends has been a long process; it’s taken years, but I’m pretty positive I have some wonderful people around me. As I’ve told my friend, «You are not only my best friends but also the people that I carefully chose because they can make me laugh, they make me think, they make me be mad if the case be, but they’re always stimulating; I could be at a loss with your geeky talking, but that’s not about boredom. In a way I’m happy I came here, because even though it showed me how picky and arrogant I am in human relationships, it also made it clear for me how important you all are.»

And that’s what set my little brain into motion this week. I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking about my friends. I’m not the kind of person who shows a lot of love, and unfortunately I’m also the kind of person that shows how much she cares by frowning and criticizing. But I swear I do that because I love you, and I swear I will only find it normal if you answer by insulting. I’d probably do that too.

What I really wanted to say in the end, is how much I appreciate this new gift Strasbourg gave me: appreciating my friends. The first few weeks, I felt lonely, but strong. I was even a bit scared by how much I (thought I) felt good without them; but once I got home one month ago, it got so clear. I missed them, I just didn’t want to admit it. I don’t know why in my head it was so clear that it was good to miss my family, but every thought about friends was blocked. It all came flooding even more intensely once I was back here. And know – know I’ll see a bunch of them on this very Saturday, and I am pretty positive I’ll have a breakdown, either with them or afterwards… Prepare the tissues!

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