December 28, 2022- When I was in Boy Scouts, from ages 10 to 12, I started out, as all did, a tenderfoot. Eventually, I made it up to First Class, with only a lingering fear of deep water keeping me from the mandatory Swimming and Lifesaving merit badges that would have advanced me to Star, Life and Eagle Scouts. To this day, I don’t swim well with my head above water, but can do about 2 laps underneath.
Shyness still makes itself known in friendships as well. There are people I consider friends, who I am a bit reticent about visiting, mainly because they are reticent about being visited, even though when I have seen them, they wax poetic about my loving nature or gentle energy. Of course, this is on them, but it does bring back old insecurities.
I count people as friends, who are from ages 2 1/2 to 91. Each has a connection that is indelible and each brings a particular quality to the table. Children and seniors bring an unfiltered wisdom. All those in between have character qualities that may not be unfiltered, but are worth encouraging. Some of these friends are only reachable online. Others could not be bothered with cyberspace. Some are quite well-known; others are people most could not tell apart from Adam or Eve. Some are people with whom I have had only a few encounters; others have been my friends since childhood. They run the gamut from students to retired executives; from the kids across the street to my financial advisor, who lives in Florida, and the couple who run a seaside bistro in Brittany.
Only a few people, who chose to dwell on my negative qualities, because that’s all they could see, have had to be cut loose. In every other case, my loyalty remains firm-even if a friend comes up with excuses, every time I ask to visit with them, or is surrounded by “protectors”, who make it clear I am not welcome there. I am still something of a shy tenderfoot, yet feel much blessed in the friend department, as has been said several times.