Mindy Kaling has a book called Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). I've read it. She's funny. But the title is honestly my favorite part, because I feel like it should/would be the title of my own autobiography.
The thing is, I have this problem. I'm a fairly jealous friend. I think part of it stems from my elementary school days, where I spent 95% of my time with one friend, and then in the 6th grade, I began to be edged out. It was fairly traumatizing, even though I feel like I tried to save face for many, many years after that. I remember having a conversation with her, where I put myself out on the line and told her that she was my very best friend.
She told me that I was not hers. Her best friend happened to be a cousin. Which was totally fine, but it still hurt. But that has set a sort of pattern in my life, where I think I've developed this really close relationship with someone, and then it turns out that I'm the lowest possible thing on their priority list, even though they are the highest on mine.
When my elementary school best friend started introducing new people into her social circle, they were other girls that I had little in common with. And since my best friend knew that, she used that as an excuse to stop inviting me to things. "I knew you wouldn't like [this activity]/[this person] so I knew you wouldn't want to come."
I spent most of junior high and high school with a couple of close friends, but largely felt that I didn't need to worry about friends at all because I was busy doing everything I could to get into BYU. I knew I would make friends in Provo, so what did I need large groups of friends in Troy, Ohio, for anyway? I think it was largely a coping mechanism; an excuse for spending my weekend nights babysitting instead of partying.
Still, there were the few times when I did go to a party or in a group of people and realized that most of these kids didn't know who I really was. They didn't care that I was there. And they wouldn't care if I weren't. I didn't like that feeling.
It took me years in Provo to finally make an actual GROUP of friends. People that I hung out with on a regular basis. People that wanted me to attend their group activities, seemed genuinely sad when I couldn't make it because of work or other obligations. People who loved me as I was and not who they expected me to be.
But then, as tends to happen in this stage of life, they started getting married, going to grad school, and moving around the globe. So I started picking up the pieces and finding a new group of friends. And for the most part, I feel like I have succeeded in making a group of friends that know me, and love me despite my flaws. But on occasion, and within a certain sector of this group of friends, there's that old feeling that for the most part, they could take me or leave me; and a lot of the times, they do. Leave me, I mean.
In my mind, I would rather not be included at all, then feel like each invite is some sort of charity thing or place filler. If I'm not wanted, then, I don't want to be there. I don't feel like that is a completely irrational thing. But I also don't want to hear about all the fun times I'm missing out on. It's not like you have this friend in Salt Lake that you hang out with, and then come back and tell me what you did. It's like, you have a group of what, I thought, were mutual friends, and you hang out and come back and talk about everything as if I were there, or should have been there, when I had no idea anything was going on in the first place.
I can only beg to be invited to certain activities for so long, before my pride gets in the way.
But it's fine. Because in a few more months, people will have left because they've graduated, or because they are getting married, or whatever. Because that is life in Provo. And I'll start searching for a new group of people to be friends with.