I’m good at many things. Like making myself laugh, washing clothes, watching football, and being alone. I excel at being alone, and find it quite enjoyable.
I’m also apparently really good at writing and singing. These two endeavours have brought a lot of fulfillment into my life.
But, there’s one thing I suck at…
… being close to people.
I can’t count how many people I have ran out of my life because I simply got tired of sharing my time with them. Because I got uncomfortable knowing them further than I already had.
It’s that simple. I just prefer to be alone most of the time, and when people start asking for more of my time, I start to pull away.
It’s like I don’t mind being friends with people just as long as we don’t have to interact more than I find necessary.
That’s just the way I am.
Unfortunately, this has caused a lot of pain for people whose paths I have crossed, for people who genuinely like my company and my weird personality.
I’ve done the same thing to my mummy in the past, pushing her away simply because I prefer being alone.
For the longest time, I was afraid to make friends because I was scared I would only hurt them.
The only friend, other than my mother, that I have been able to maintain till date is John, my best friend.
It’s been a slippery slope with everyone else.
Until recently, I was only making acquaintances and resisting attempts to take it any further because I am all too aware of my main weakness.
And then it happened.
I met a girl, and we became fast friends. Perhaps I believed that I was over my affliction, that now that I was older, I could commit to a friendship that required a lot of my time.
I was so wrong! I’m never growing out of this trait.
We hang out all the time, and soon, it started to eat me up.
I hate phone calls, and every time she called, my heart sunk. It felt like my time alone was being threatened, and this threat had to be neutralised using any means necessary.
True to form, I engineered the end of our friendship by seemingly sabotaging it. And, sabotage I did without even knowing what it was I was doing.
She got hurt I could tell, but, to my surprise, she only backed away slightly.
She didn’t swear that she’ll never talk to me. Rather, she seemed to understand that I needed space, and she gave it to me. She didn’t hate me.
She understood me, and despite my plans to destroy the relationship, she forgave me.
Now we are friends again but with the boundaries firmly imposed, just how I like it.
This experience taught me to woman up and tell people about my affliction rather than just pulling away, and not giving them a reason.
I hope all those people I have hurt before by pulling away from them will one day understand why.
In memory of Margaret Wambui Githendu, a beautiful woman with a lot of love and a lot of vision.