I got together with a friend today for coffee. We don’t see each other that often but when we do, we always chat for hours.
We’re both sensitive and introverted. Having come from families where communication doesn’t really happen, we’re also both naturally very reserved. I’ve shared with her some personal things that I don’t tell everyone, such as difficulties I’ve had with work and family, and the last time we visited (a couple of months ago) I told her about my epiphany.
Last week, I booked my plane ticket to visit Gawan (squee!). Since it’s a big trip to one of her favorite places, it would have felt unnatural not to at least mention it. I wasn’t so bold as to explain the details, but it’s entirely true that I’m going there to visit a friend. She was excited for me, positively jumping in her seat.
I had also been thinking about telling her about the blog for, oh, months now, but chickened out on one or two occasions. I finally decided that today was the day. For one thing, the blog is a major part of my life and censoring it out leaves a big gap in the record. Just about everything else that’s going on in my life is pretty boring, really, and I’ve found myself nattering on about other, less interesting topics just to have something to talk about, which makes those topics seem much more important than they actually are. I tend to bore myself as I’m talking about them. Not good.
I’ve also realized that part of my general sense of loneliness is probably due to the fact that, in effect, I tend to keep myself distant. This isn’t deliberate, I just never learned to connect deeply with friends, for instance by sharing confidences. In order to be seen, I need to show myself.
So I finally spat it out.
I told her I had a blog, that I write about sex and relationships, and some of the things I get up to in bed.
I told her the story about asking my mom’s advice when I was considering starting a website relating to my dance, and how she counselled me not to post nude photos of myself on the internet, and how I have in fact now posted many nude photos of myself on the internet.
“That’s fantastic!” she said, grinning. It seems I chose well: what a relief! (She didn’t ask for the name of the blog and I didn’t offer.)
She then shared some of her thoughts and concerns about her own relationship. As I said, she’s reserved — and we were in a popular coffee shop — so there was no “dishing”, but it felt like our connection was a step closer than it had been before.
One thing we discussed a bit was the five “love languages” (gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch (intimacy)*). Touch is very important to her; not so for me, and for a long time it made me actively uncomfortable. She likes to hug her friends but is sensitive enough to be aware that I didn’t care for it and so she held back. I explained that touch is actually becoming more important to me, and hugs are now absolutely fine. So when we parted ways, she felt more confident about offering me a hug. I happily reciprocated, declaring, “The treatment is working!”
So, things are good. I had a good visit with a friend, was able to share something with her that’s important to me, and I think we’ve become a little closer. I’m definitely going to visit Gawan and I have a departure date to look forward to. And I have plans to visit Mr. Pleasant Surprises both on the way out and on the way back.
*Given the fact that touch is the only way of effectively expressing caring to an infant, I think it’s more fundamentally important than the other love languages. I suspect that discomfort with touch is something that would benefit by being addressed.