Today I thought I’d write a Ponderland post.
At the end of my birthday, TBG said, “Pola, I think you’re really eccentric.”
“Is that… a good thing?” I ventured. Previously she’s only ever called me ‘a contradiction’.
The geometric definition of eccentric means unequally aligned through the centre of a circle, or something ‘off centre.’ For some reason this intrigued me far more than the literary one, someone unusual who deviates from the norm.
I said intriguing, not positive; and a certain prerequisite of friendship is that you like each other and I thought that this might be at threat in this instance. I’m insecure like that.
“It just is.”
If I had a penny every time people told me “It just is.” or “You just are…!” I’d be rich.
“You’re eccentric, and I’ve met a lot of people – real big shots, from broadsheet columnists to whoever and the only people who really achieve anything all had one thing in common: they were eccentric like you.”
You can see why we’re friends right?
I am very sloppy day to day, so when the occasion calls for it I feel like I work very hard at looking put together. It helps me put on a character to hide behind and yet I’ll phone an old friend for coffee and say:
“You’ll have to excuse what I’m wearing, I’m not very put together today.”
“Pola, I’ve known you for over ten years and you’ve never looked less than well turned out.”
So apparently I’ve acquired glamour at last. But instead of that making me happy, it made me sad in case it’s just a form of boundary wall. This sounds very vain but I get nervous, apologetic and even impatient when men show signs of being attracted to me.
Sure, you like the packaging, but I’m waiting for you to run for the hills any minute.
Bipolar makes me feel like I have a point to prove more than others. Some days I feel that I’m deceiving people by being an ill person in innocuous packaging. TBG said this was rubbish and explained the difference between us: “I’m more ill than you and I worry about it less, I don’t see it as this monster on my back, but you do. You’re ill less, but you worry about it much more.”
This hasn’t been helped by observations from newer friends, that I’m patronising and vain a lot of the time. It’s probably true, because I’m afraid of not being worth their time or energy, or what I have to offer not being useful.
I love my friends but I have found myself living vicariously through them, because of my aversion to risk in my own life. I realise this isn’t fair. Critique cuts a lot more though, I’ve taken it on board with thanks to those that shone that light on my character – not my condition – but our shared compassion is what will save the day.
~ Pola ~