Not a hugger

I do not hate hugs. I do not love hugs.

It’s just, I’m not a huge fan of the hug.

Sometimes, my friends say I flinch if they get near me.

And, my roommates make fun of me for being a “bad” hugger anyway. Joanna says I give an awkward half hug. I think Erica and Alex know by now to not even attempt to touch me.

My hugging comfortable-ness and observations:

– If you are going in for a hug, I will hug you. Even if I do not know you that well, I will hug you. I will not dodge the hug. But, I will wait for you to initiate.

– On a day-to-day basis, I will never initiate a hug. (OK, exceptions being boyfriend and grandma, not many others though).

– A few of my close friends now know that I do not like hugs. But, they make a big deal about not hugging me. (I will hug you back! Don’t not hug me because you know I am not a hugger).

– There are “known huggers” in the world. For these former classmates, acquaintances, teammates, friends, former coworkers, I will simultaneously go in for the hug with them. I am OK with this. (Note: I am not initiating the hug. I am just aware that these type of people always hug. They hug when they say hello, when they say bye. They hug even more when inebriated).

– When someone really needs a hug, I will initiate the hug. And, these I do without thinking, it’s instinct.

– For friends and family members I go months and years on end without seeing, I hug. This just happens naturally. I miss them!

– I often go in for the side hug rather than a full hug if I am feeling particularly uneasy about hugging you. (Or, just lazy).

Don’t hate me for not being a hugger. It’s not like I’m a cold person with no heart. I conform when I need to. I don’t know why I react to hugs this way. It’s not even something I noticed until recently. And, it’s not like I was never hugged as a child. I grew up in a loving family with parents who hugged me. There are pictures of me as a child holding and hugging my baby brother.

And yes, I admit, hugs can be nice and make you feel better.

But, they’re just not my thing.

This is a picture of my cousins. After approx. 10 minutes looking through photos, I could not find one of me hugging anyone.

These are my lovely cousins. After approx. 10 minutes looking through photos, I could not find one of me hugging anyone.

It’s not over if it never even started

The talk.

No one really likes it, right? ETR — establish the relationship — talks … no one goes into a date thinking “Gosh, I am so looking forward to our conversation tonight.” I mean, I suppose if you have a good hunch that both parties are on the same page with the relationship, then having a talk will not be awkward and painful because it will just be establishing aloud what the two people are already thinking and/or doing.

Do you follow me?

But

if you are unsure how you feel, or if you think you feel differently than the other person feels about you, you try desperately to avoid said talk at all costs.

Now, this may make you appear to be a jerk, but, let me tell you, I am not a jerk.

Some time ago, I went on a few (like three or four) dates with a guy. He was a friend of a friend. For the several weeks, I could not make up my mind if I was actually into the guy. He was nice. He was smart. He laughed at my jokes (but, who doesn’t?) Each time after I saw him, I was not 100 percent convinced to keep hanging out with him.

I was encouraged by my “superficial” friends to “give him a chance” because “he’s just so good-looking!”

He paid for the entire tab the first time we went out so I knew he didn’t want to just be my friend. There were texts back and forth.

But

some things started to annoy me. And, one day when he texted me, I was just annoyed by his text. And, this is when I knew.

I need to end this.

And then I realized I had a problem. How do you break up with someone who you aren’t really dating? Isn’t there a difference between going on dates with someone and actually dating someone?

He wasn’t my boyfriend. We never had the talk! Nothing had even happened. We didn’t kiss or hold hands or anything like that. (And, I hate hugs so of course there was none of that! More on my hug-phobia another day).

My friends told me that this is what happens in the dating world. Things end. It’s not going to always work out. Someone is going to have to tell the other person that it’s over.

Because I hate confrontation — and I didn’t want to get distracted by his good looks — I basically just became too busy to hang out with him. You know, with work and friends and family and running and stuff. There was nothing to end with him because nothing had started, at least in my opinion. (Hey, at least I didn’t tell him I was leaving the country or getting married or something. I could’ve done worse!)

He probably still thinks I’m a big jerk.

#Liveandlearn?

Nothing and everything

It’s on repeat, this one song.

It keeps me calm.

I’m in the dark — literally, I’m in the dark. It’s 4:45 p.m. and I am running in the dark.

It keeps me calm.

My feet pound the pavement. The sound is familiar.

It keeps me calm.

 

With every inhale, I’m thinking of everything. With every exhale, I’m thinking of nothing.

I look ahead, not focusing on anything in particular. It’s dark. It’s raining. It keeps me calm.

 

This is nothing, yet and everything.

Let’s be friends!

One time, not too long ago, I “complained” to my dad that I have “too many friends.”

“I’m just tired all the time. I’m always busy hanging out with people,” I told him.

In all reality, I of course was not complaining that I have “a lot” of friends. But, sometimes it feels, well, overwhelming? Time consuming? I am not sure what direction I am trying to take this post because I am starting to sound like an ungrateful person. Let me continue though.

“You’re lucky that you’re still friends with all your friends,” my dad said to me. “I can’t say that for myself.”

It’s true. From his childhood, my dad is really only friends with one guy still.

Friendships truly are precious.

Phyllis one time made a comment that I have always kept in touch with all of my friends, and that’s why I stay friends with people. I am the one always reaching out, making the effort. (Of course, friendships take two people, just like any relationship, so I am not only giving credit to myself).

I always make that “extra” effort to “keep” my friends, she said. Well, it’s because these are people who are important to me. These are the people who make me laugh. These are the people who get me through the low points. These are the people who will do (almost) anything for or with me. These are the people I can share secrets with. I’m not going to give these people up so easily.

I’m 25 years old and I have a good number of friends from grade school (we’re talking elementary and middle school, here!) I’m lucky that many of my high school friends have moved back to Seattle (or have remained living here). And, although I do have a few friends (cough, Phyllis, cough, Whitney, cough, Hannah,) who now live across the country, at least I have fun places to make a vacation out of to visit them! Besides, I guess I can forgive them since they will be the doctors, architects and attorneys of tomorrow! (Did I mention that my friends are super smart?)

Having been out of school for three years now, I have learned one important life concept: Making friends is difficult.

Think about it — all your life, all the friends you have ever made probably were classmates, or kids from your sports teams or any other extracurricular activity whether it be theater or band.

It’s hard to make friends in the outside world. I really don’t think I’ve made any real friends outside of the above mentioned. (Tell me, when was the last time you started a new job or went to the grocery store and asked someone to be your friend? Probably very rarely). It’s not like kindergarten where you just walk up to a nice-looking kid and say, “Be my friend!”

Your friends will always be there for you, if you’re always there for them.

The song from preschool is true: Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold. A circle is round, it has no end, that’s how long I want to be your friend. 

So, after saying all of that, what do you say? Let’s be friends!

At 93

[A scene from last week]

A 93-year-old man told me that he and his wife have known each other for 72 years.

He had perfect hearing.

He didn’t wear glasses.

His wife sat next to him and did a cute little eye roll when he mentioned that she wore hearing aids and he didn’t.

I’d hope that when I’m that age — I’m going to live until I’m at least 100! — my sense of humor will still be intact and that I have someone to lovingly roll my eyes at.

We’re OK

My problem is that I tend to over-think, over-analyze everything. It’s not uncommon for a quick trip to the grocery store for bread to turn into a half hour of debating whether or not I want to also get pickles or olives.

So, when real situations or problems, arise that have to do with real people, a million of thoughts come to mind. But, the problem is that they aren’t just thoughts that are forming. There are real feelings, real emotions that are connected to these thoughts.

I know in the end everything will be OK. I won’t let it not be OK. But, for right now, I can’t stop feeling and thinking.

And, it’s really tiring.

The uncertainty is scary.

My whole life is sort of a big question-mark right now. Working in clinical research, one would assume “the path” I am following is in healthcare and medicine. But, I don’t know what any of that really is. I was a journalism major, after all. But, questioning where I’ll be in five years career-wise actually doesn’t scare me that much. I know it will all work out. I know I will be happy — hard work always pays off, and I am always a hard worker. I know I’ll be OK.

But, when placing this same outlook on other people, in real relationships, with real feelings and emotions, I start worrying myself. I start to think too much. No one wants to lose their best friend.

The uncertainty is scary.