“Eh Meimei, you just don’t like the whole world lah”

My brother would say to me, whenever I would make passing remarks about a random so-and-so and how I don’t like them, because of this-and-that.

The same brother (oh my god, @chowchowsheep, my life IS about you) would also comment about how I have no friends, I basically don’t like any one and that family are the only people I bear with and keep around because I don’t have a choice.

“It’s true…”

I would always reply him, with a little bit of haughtiness in my tone, as if the reason I don’t like to make friends with people, is because they are not good for me.

Not true though, most of the time, I’m just afraid I’m not good enough FOR them.

So, instead of having someone tell me, “eh chow, you’re damn weird, please go away”

I’d rather be the one with the nose stuck up in the air and the one who says,

“Who are you? I don’t need your friendship anyway.”

And it is then, that I realise,

with a bit of a startle, that I am a porcupine.

I start every relationship that’s a little bid odd, with a lot of unprovoked hostility.

I tell people that I don’t like so-and-so because of the lamest reasons that will make my own eyes roll.

I tell them that we are on different frequencies and make it seem like I’m the oddball that doesn’t wan to be friends with anyone.

But really, I just don’t like to have to be emotional vested in someone I barely know, until I know for sure, they are worth my time and energy.

Why?

Because I’ve been there, and I’ve done that.

I’ve done the whole, throw yourself out there into the wilderness,

Be your true, passionate self, and people will come, embrace you and your passion and together you will burn an eternal dancing flame of happiness.

Cut all the crap please.

That doesn’t happen in real life.

What happens in real life? Is that when you put yourself out there and make friends with anyone who seems decent enough and when you set your standards real low when it comes to the people whom you let come into your life and fuck around with your insides.

Best friends who are there when they want to be and then gone when you need them to stay.

So after years of toxic relationships and having to tragically weed out the people who don’t really want to be a part of my life,

I’ve developed this ball of prickly spines that I wear like a shield. It makes me roll my eyes at strangers with judgement, even though deep inside, I know that they aren’t as bad as I make them out to be.

But somehow, recently, I’ve begun to feel that…something isn’t right.

For the longest time, I’ve had a little something against a someone who is a distant something to someone in my family.

I would randomly throw in one-liners to tease her when her name was brought up in discussions. And when we met at gatherings that happened maybe…once in 5 years, I would pretend I was better than her.

But as life would have it, I was given a chance to work with her, semi-professionally recently and realised that, I don’t dislike her as I make myself out to believe.

Obviously, true to the #chowstyle, I was as distant as I could be towards the whole working relationship, and towards the end, I was so frustrated that I ended up being…mildly hostile

But she, on the other hand, surprised me by returning hostility with…an out of the way…kindness?

And you guys know how this story ends…no, we did not end up being chummy, but yes, I can feel the wall of pricks being taken down and the fairytale ending of…apathy? Come into view.

I say apathy like it is a good thing, because in this case, if is.

I'll work on saying she's nice soon. Baby steps.

Underneath a ball of pricks, is nothing more than a wounded soul

Ok, not so dramatic,

And no, my soul is not mortally wounded.

I’m just trying to say that sometimes the people who leave the nastiest first impressions (lol, me) can be the people who have been through the most.

Sometimes, I look at the people whom life has tried to wear down tirelessly, yet still have the optimism to carry on with…making friends? And I really, just give it to them.

I’m not even jaded to the extent of losing faith in humanity (thank you dayre, for sending people like @mytypeofrunaway into my life and helping to regain faith)

But I already find having to emotionally invest myself in someone whom I’m not sure wants to hang on to that bag pack of crazy, a completely waste of energy,

Which also brings me to the point of…

Humans exhaust me

I can still vaguely remember the times where I literally throw myself into every budding relationship with a 100% of my energy, time and well, being.

I remember hanging on to my phone, waiting for my new friend to reply, wondering if she liked me as much as I did and overanalysing every word.

I am a VERY emotionally sensitive person, and I am borderline neurotic and love to overthink so human relationships truly exhaust me.

The ambiguity? The whole…are we friends? Or are we just acquaintances? Or what? Makes me just want to tear my hair out.

Some people don’t even have to try and they make friends.

But people like me, like us? Boy do we try.

At least I did, in the very beginning.

Maybe we can meet somewhere in between?

I think I’ve come to realise that life isn’t just a black and white game.

Nobody says you have to throw your 100% into anything or don’t invest anything at all.

For a long time, I was very sulky running OBC because I couldn’t be the porcupine I wanted to be.

During our first flea at Artbox, someone messaged to say they walked past our stall but didn’t come shop because they saw the owner (talking about me yah LOL) wearing a long and black face.

I seriously got a little shock because I never knew my face was capable of being long and black even when I didn’t mean for it to be.

Must be the weather.

Then Daniel said that my face is ALWAYS long and black. And even though I try to sound happy and polite when chatting, I always come across as forced and unwilling.

You see, the porcupine had taken over my life.

But time passed and now, after a year of having to meet, talk and share my life with strangers, I am strangely, less spiny as I was before.

Perhaps it’s the strangers who have reciprocated the niceties and have somehow become my friends.

Or the fact that generally, people are just not as shitty as I think they are,

But one way or another, it has made the spiny porcupine retreat again.

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