Familiarity and Comfort

Published June 7, 2011 by Crystal

I have always been drawn to loud people. People who are the centre of attention, and who like to be centre of attention. I have always thought I like to be in the party but not at the middle of it. Maybe from being bullied at an early age and never being part of the cool kids at school I felt that somehow I would be validated if I was at least part of the group. It feels familiar, to be part of the party, but not in the middle of it. It feels familiar to be with people who are used to being the life and soul of the party, But I realised today that familiarity is not the same as comfort. While I am used to these people, I realise that I am not at my most relaxed around these people, and I find it strange that it has taken so long to see this. I don’t even need the big social gatherings, just a few people I can be on equal footing with, who don’t see me as damaged goods, or with a mental illness.
I decided to go to Glastonbury by myself this year. It wasn’t the initial decision, but following a discussion I realised that my initial option was closed to me. I want to go as me, and at the moment I’m only really learning who “me” is. I want to go, where noone has preconceptions of me, where noone is looking back at events and conversations and using them against me, however unconsciously. So I booked my train ticket, I bought myself a tent, and I found out where other solo travellers would be heading.
I know this is a brave move for me, but it’s stepping out of my “familiarity zone” rather than my “comfort zone”, because actually it’s the sort of thing I would have done 10 years ago and found joy in. Somewhere in the last 10 years though I feel I’ve lost almost all sense of me that I ever had. I’ve allowed the bold characters and situations to engulf me, I’ve allowed family to dictate how I should be and act. I have been so used to the familiarity of family and friends, but only with Rob and the boys, and a few long time friends have I trully had comfort, only in those moments with those few do I feel I am actually more me and less what other people expect.
So here’s a bold move. Stepping back from the familiar, and moving into the comfortable.
Don’t confuse the two.

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