Last week I had a chance encounter that made me revisit my past. I was happy in my own thoughts heading into a supermarket when out the corner of my eye I spied a girl from my teenage social group.
Strap yourselves in this might be a big’n
My mind went straight back to the “Good old days” and how it all ended. Let’s set the scene…. I was a thirteen year old ruffian, I liked video games and wrestling with little time for anything else, let alone girls (he truth being I felt safe in my role and the thought of putting myself out there and changing my friendship groups did not sit well with me, though I wanted to, and actually speaking to a girl would terrify me to the core).
However, there was a desire there to diversify socially. I had already started making inroads with such a group as I sat with some lads on the bus, (one of which is still to this day one of my very best friends) they were much smarter than me and obviously more popular. We became quite close friends and Just as a matter of course I started to get invited to more and more events and slowly but surely I became a part of the group. Thing went on in this vein all through school, sixth form and then on weekends when we were all together. Most of this group decided to become teachers as at that time you got paid to study on this profession (who could blame them,after all they were, almost to a man much smarter than me, or so I thought).
Soon however things started to change, nights out became more erratic and people got into relationships, myself included. Nights out became less frequent and for me,money was a real issue. About this time,myself and partner moved in together away from sunny Blackpool. This is when things became really tough and friendships began to unravel. The more I said no to nights out, the less the phone rang and the easier it was to disengage. Little did the group know I had next to no money and at that time I was running up credit card debts just pay for petrol to get to and from work. When I was saying no to going out, I was really just too embarrassed and ashamed to tell them how hard things were, I guess this is where I should take a good share of the blame, as I didn’t try as hard as I could have.
Things had gotten away from me and on the odd occasion I did go out, I struggled to keep up or get noticed. Some people tended to talk about things in the recent past, what they did in the last weeks or months. I wasn’t there and couldn’t be part of the conversation. I came away feeling like no one wanted me there and after this it became all too easy to disengage altogether. There was no real falling out and on the odd occasion I run into some of them now, I am still on reasonable terms with them.
This type of ending had a real bitter taste to it, I’m not too sure what I did to deserve such and exit, it felt like I was just cut out,much like Tsukuru Tazaki. Don’t get me wrong I have a good life and good friends, the closest of which predates this group. However, there remains with me a sense of loss (grief almost) at the way it ended. It’s probably the loss of my youth, a more existential crisis than anything else. Although I do often wonder if I am thought about at all by them. I can hear people close to me telling me that I am “better off out of it” and “they never kept in touch with you either” all true of course and I get where they are coming from but this doesn’t change or help the way I feel. It’s one of those things that stay with us, not prominent or immediate but always there, lying unresolved, somewhere in the background.
I would like to see some of them again, I guess I just miss belonging to a group and talking with lots of different people, many of them still socialise together but I am not willing to put myself in such a vulnerable position again.
The problem being that there was no definite ending, I have had no closure on it and this has only let me internalise everything instead of processing it properly and letting it go.
I am sure that it will happen one day, patience is the key,but always ready to act when the opportunity presents itself. I don’t miss it all that much, I don’t think my life would be exponentially improved should I get that back, but I do feel that I need the chance to close that door.
Thanks for coming with me this has been a bit of a difficult one.