I have a series of revelations, that are perhaps only revelations to me, that I shall graciously share with you, my dear readers. And if you feel like saying "You numpty, how can none of these things have occurred to you??" please feel free to keep that particular opinion to yourself. No-one likes a smart-arse.
- While it can be glaringly, painfully, humiliatingly obvious when you're on the outside of a clique, feeling isolated, unwanted, bored, and alone, it's easy to be completely oblivious when you're part of a group. When you're comfortable, chatting to friends, relaxed, its easy not to stop and think "Hey! This is me on the inside! I'm OK!" And in truth, there have been, and indubitably will be, plenty of times I've been with friends and have probably made others feel like outsider. And now I feel bad about that. If I ever did that to you, then I'm sorry...
- How we perceive ourselves is very rarely the same as the way others perceive us. And to judge ourselves based on how we perceive others is a path to madness. Everyone puts on a mask, and for most people that mask is one of a more confident, more assured, calmer, happier person than is so often hiding inside. And it seems I have that same mask - until I started writing this blog, I don't think many people realised the seething mass of insecurity and doubt that lurks beneath the surface. And until I started this blog I didn't discover that to other people I apparently come across as quite the social butterfly, which leaves me utterly dumb-founded.
- A lot of people want to make friends just as much as I do, and I mustn't assume that each and every person is assured and confident. For every hesitation and retreat of mine; every text message I don't send; every invitation to play I don't make; every conversation I don't start - there's another person wondering why I don't like them, or why I don't talk to them, or why I don't want to be friends.
- I am not alone in thinking that I'm the outsider, or in thinking that I don't know how to talk to new people. It's too easy to vanish into a navel-gazing rabbit-hole (which is a really uncomfortable place to be - the contortions required to get in are unbearable). It's too easy to forget to see the world through someone else's eyes. It's too easy to always gaze inwards and think only of myself.
- Blogging when tired and ill is dangerous. I sink into a morass of self-pity and then I end up not only seeing the world through blue-tinted spectacles, but telling other people about it too. Don't blog when over-tired.
Meanwhile, one of my new friends and I have decided to set up our own pub-clique, in which we go to the pub and drink beer. We might even invite other people to join us, if we're not feeling too shy. I think I'm going to like the view from inside that particular clique...