I don’t make friends very easily. I’m sociable and gregarious and all of those things that on paper should make it easy for me to make lots of friends; and while it’s true, I have many acquaintances, I can count the number of VERY close friends that I have on both hands (and maybe one or two toes).
Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing. Having a little network of really close pals is great. However, it’s tricky when they mainly live in another country. It can get a bit lonely when the people you’re used to sharing stuff with with – laughs, adventures, heartaches, scandals etc – aren’t mere minutes away.
I’ve been in Ireland just short of 18 months now and in that time I’ve met loads of really fantastic people. It’s true what they say (whoever “they” are, and “they” tend to say an awful lot)… but yes, it’s true what they say about the Irish being very friendly. Indeed, the vast majority of people you meet really are very friendly; interested in why you moved here, how you’re settling in, what you think of it all so far etc. And there it ends.
Where it’s quite tricky is making the step change from someone who knows lots of friendly people, to someone who’s built up a network of lovely friends, including some of the really close variety (not that kind of close, dirty mind!)
For me this takes a bit of time. People don’t tend to know quite what to make of me when they meet me initially. I kind of stick out like a sore thumb for starters; I’ve never been very good at blending into the background. I don’t really look like most girls, I don’t talk like most girls (largely because I swear like a navvy!), I’m not particularly subtle (to look at or to listen to) and am generally a bit “different”. All of this can mean that I also seem to be unapproachable and a bit intimidating at times apparently.
The odd thing is that yes, while I appear to be all of these things, I’m also a massive jumble of contradictions. Not in my opinions and the like, but in other ways.
So while I’m the loud, pint swilling, non-PC, potty-mouthed, joke cracking seemingly confident girl in the room, I’m also quite shy, self-conscious and bizarrely somewhat timid. I’ll happily be the performing monkey in a situation and make everyone laugh, because fuck it, I’m funny 😉 But it always shocks me when people realise that I’m quite shy underneath it all. I always think it’s incredibly obvious.
So, because of all of this, and no doubt a myriad of other factors, I don’t tend to make really good friends very easily. I don’t let a lot of people in you see, to get to know the real me.
But then every now and then I meet someone who just gets me. Who thinks I’m fun and funny, interesting and good company, yet sees the other sides to me and accepts them too. And in turn lets me get to know them a bit better as well.
Recently I’ve made two very, very good friends and I love them to bits. They’re as silly as I am which is a real bonus, but they also “get” the real me.
Which is why we get drunk & I let them do stuff like this to me…
Thanks boys. Love you loads! Mwah!