Education, Friends, and the depth of relationships...

Warning: There will be opinions about the education system, opinions about friendship, and generally, my opinion, which you may or may not agree with. If not...I'm not sorry. This is my blog after all!

Most people would say that I am a friendly person...maybe even that I have a lot of friends. Sadly...this is not really true. I know a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people, I am comfortable in setting where there are a lot of people, but friends...real friends? I have only a few.

I have been doing a great deal of research for a class my coworker and I are putting together. Part of this research involves looking at how children in poverty react in education and ways to help the education system adapt for all.

The education system is not really set up so that our children in poverty can reach their fullest potential. After all, many feel that due to their gaps in knowledge or experience, these students are not expected to rise to the highest heights, not because they aren't capable, but rather years of oppression and disappointment often dictate success.

I know this route...I grew up in poverty with my mother, brother, and (sometimes), my mother's drug dealer boyfriend. I am not going to lie...there were good years, but there were also the years where my mother was a train wreck. I attended four schools before 8th grade, which for some is not very many, but it does make it difficult to make connections. Sometimes I feel like my childhood is made up of fuzzy memories with an occasional moment of clarity. It is like a real-life cartoon where it is difficult to know what is truth and what is in my head.

I was lucky...I had a few teachers who stood for me, gave me opportunities to excel, opportunities for more. These were adults who saw beyond my circumstances and gave me hope. Hope is a pretty big thing when you live a life where hope is a bit short. I stood for myself, I moved forward, I created (with help) something better and yet, I still struggle with some of the effects of this upbringing.

This is where the friends come in...or lack thereof. I have very few real friends...people that I could call at any moment, people that know what makes me tick. I am an open book in many ways, but the deep dark parts, I often keep behind the wall. I am good at being with people, but not good when I am not with them. I don't know how to keep friends. There are very few people in my life that have withstood time and distance. It makes me sad in ways because I watch others maintain friendships from afar fairly seamlessly. I am jealous and confused. I don't really understand how it works. Sometimes I want more, the other times I am too exhausted to work harder at it, because it is work.

Don't get me wrong...I am willing...I just don't know how to do it! Do you ask over and over to hang out? What happens if the answer is "no" or they are too busy. How long does this go? Where is the line?

When I was young, running around the playground with my "friends" I had no idea that being an adult and trying to have people around them would be so hard...maybe I missed the skills in this area...great at superficial relationships, not that great at building deep ones. With students, I am great...with adults, not so much!

This is not a desperate plea for encouragement about how great I am in this area...it is a lie. I am good at being present but not good at the long haul. I wish it was different...I am who I am...I continue to work on myself...I'm not perfect, nor am I even close. Someday...one day...I might be better at this all. Maybe I won't but for now, this is where I am...here

Comments

  1. "I don't know how to keep friends. There are very few people in my life that have withstood time and distance. It makes me sad in ways because I watch others maintain friendships from afar fairly seamlessly. I am jealous and confused. I don't really understand how it works. Sometimes I want more, the other times I am too exhausted to work harder at it, because it is work.

    Don't get me wrong...I am willing...I just don't know how to do it! Do you ask over and over to hang out? What happens if the answer is "no" or they are too busy. How long does this go? Where is the line?"

    That is so me. For the record, I love you and want to hang out with you more. Ask!! But if you ask and I say no because I'm exhausted, know that I really and truly am exhausted - you get that, since we do the same job ;-) But I do want to hang out with you more, for sure!

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  2. Oh man! You just described me as well! Thanks for saying this out loud for the rest of us. I'm guessing there are more of us out there feeling this way than we realize 😉

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