I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front lately. The truth is, I've had a few sleepless nights and a lot on my mind - including whether to share or not. But I think I will.
I've written before about being homesick and feeling a bit lost out here, but then things started to come together - night classes, making new friends, finding things to enjoy. But there has been a bit of an issue recently. It seems that not everyone takes kindly to a newcomer joining their social group.
It started with being pointedly excluded from a recent birthday party to which everyone else had been invited. To be fair, a few of my other friends seemed surprised at this and I took it graciously, said nothing and carried on as usual. Then another person (previously someone I saw a lot of) cut off contact too. No texts, calls, plans - nothing.
Yes, I'm aware this is straying dangerously close to schoolyard territory but bear with me. Because the whole thing has made me think a lot. I spoke to my mum (naturally) and she warned me of the perils of being involved in a group of women ('There's always one'). She suggested a bit of jealousy. But I've been part of a group before and there was no nastiness. At work, when a new girl started we always took her out to lunch and gave her the heads-up on everyone. I don't like women being mean to one another. We have enough to deal with as it is.
I'm no saint - at school it was always someone's turn to be the outcast and we all had a turn at being unpleasant. But that was a long, long time ago.
I've grown up a lot since then. And even though my first instinct was to question what I'd done or said to cause offence (conclusion: nothing at all) I quickly decided that, as I've got older and a little bit wiser, I don't care half as much about what people may or may not think of me. In this case I have nothing to apologise for. And I'm not the one with the problem. So I took the very modern step of taking this person off my Facebook account. I don't actually use it that often, but I wanted to make a stand: I won't be treated like that and I won't try to appease someone who clearly dislikes me for whatever strange reason they have.
The best thing to come out of this little situation: it has actually strengthened my resolve to love my life, enjoy what I do and be myself.
Here's what I've learned:
Be careful about who you become friends with - be choosy and make sure you have things in common
Sometimes people are odd and it's not your fault
Don't say bad things about people and stir up a hornet's nest
Take the high road
Be optimistic - real friends appear in your life when you least expect them to.
Best of all, here's what I've done:
Bought myself a bright, bright red lipstick (and worn it)
Started wearing my big statement necklaces again without feeling self-conscious
Found a whole new list of baby groups I can try with Joe (thanks to Jay for looking them up)
Taken Joe swimming on a different day - on our own - and enjoyed focusing on him
Worked hard on preparing for the craft and vintage fair
De-summered the kitchen in preparation for my favourite time of year: autumn
Felt grateful for what I have.
The ultimate therapy for me is going out for a walk. So today I pulled on my wellies and took Joe for a little wander (between rain showers). We snipped some prickly stems of teasel to dry out in the kitchen for an everlasting display, and I noticed the blackberries and rosehips starting to colour. Autumn's definitely on the way. The garden - especially the parts where the annuals are growing - is starting to look tired and tatty.
If you've read this very long post, thank you for your patience. It's been quite cathartic.
The usual type of posts will appear in a day or two :)