The Worst Kind of Firsts
I wouldn’t exactly say I’m a natural at meeting and getting to know new people. It takes me a while to get over the hump of being nervous around them and being pretty desperate for their acceptance and approval, but once I relax and act a bit more like myself, I’m fine. Moving to London has provided me with ample opportunities to get to know new people who have entertained, enlightened and inspired me, and our experiences together have been by and large positive.
But whenever you get close to someone new, and some point it’s inevitable that you’ll see behind the veil, and their cool, calm and collected exterior will crumble in times of stress or ill health. Today I got to see someone who I’ve grown to care about a lot, usually wholly unflappable, feeling overwhelmed and, in their words, on the verge of a meltdown. They’d lost their characteristic confidence and I felt like they were trying to hold it together for my sake, to make a joke of the struggle, but perhaps it was for their sake as much as mine. Either way, it was a really horrible experience, the only small silver lining being that I’m glad that they could be vulnerable with me like that.