When I was nine (let’s say nine for now because I can’t remember the specific age) I had only one close friend. We were friends, not because we really worked well with each other, as to how childhood friends are formed, out of situational circumstances. Our situational circumstance was that she was the only person in my age group who lived closest to me, and who my mum allowed me to hang out with because she wouldn’t let me go to my other friends’ houses since they lived too far. As of a result, she was my one and only friend, but only outside of school.
In those days, we would come out to play when the sun started to set and it wasn’t too hot outside. There used to be this fire hydrant in front of her house which was roofed over by a tree and so we claimed it as our hang out “house”. And we would play tag, hide n seek, fantasy and whatever else kids played before the age of smartphones. And soon we began using our imaginations and planning ahead of our time. How we’d be friends in the future, living together in an apartment. We planned out the bedrooms and even made a list of kitchen utensils to not forget. And then I came up with ideas of making a group to change the world and we would have meetings to discuss these ideas. Like I remember I had an idea to have an enlarged version of an ambulance to carry more patients in one go, the ambulance bus. I even began making a presentation for it and told everyone to create an email so that I can add them to the google circle so that we have these meetings in the comforts in our home for when our parents wouldn’t allow us out to play. I don’t even remember sending the presentation, but I remember working on it with so much fire and passion like it was the best feeling in the world. Like I’m going to bring so much into this world with our contributions as a team.
Funny how time changes people, and how people change over time. My friend became snarkier towards me. She began to bully me, do pranks on me with the rest of the group and leave me out of conversations. Soon I realized that we weren’t right for each other as personalities go, and she made a new group of friends, so did I. Although, I was unfortunate to not be able to find someone just as driven to come up with ideas and contribute positively to the world around us. It felt like I was flapping my arms around against the current as I was taken down the river, not taking control of where I wanted to go for myself.
Now I found this guy. He’s a fresh graduate and I’m starting my 4th year of medicine. He’s beautiful inside and outside and every time I talk with him; he makes my heart smile in the My Funny Valentine kind of way. And the thing that has won me over like a little girl is that he gets excited every time I share my ideas. He makes it easy for me to get passionate about talking about these kinds of things, and even adds his input into making it better or how I could get it done. He could listen to me go on and on and on about them with his endless span of attention because he actually finds them too interesting to pretend otherwise. And just as I was, when I was nine, I immediately wanted him to be my life long partner in crime. To push, motivate me to carry out these incredible ideas that keep bursting into my mind too often and not have to suppress them with shame like I’ve done all those years after my former close friend bullied me for.
I’m an adult, I’ve grown and honed in on what matters to me, and how not to let others belittle my voice. Yet, somewhere deep down, I’m that little girl again afraid to be shut out.