After a hectic day at work a co-worker and I decided to go get a drink at a local bar. This co-worker had recently gone on a spree of nicknaming our other colleagues, but had yet to figure out what fit best for me. In the middle of a conversation over our beer he had a “eureka” moment, “MAGNET” he exclaimed, “That’s it, your Magnet.” When I asked him why he decided this would be my name he said because of the strange people I seem to attract. Well that’s perfect I thought, a man that I’ve really only known at work already knows about my propensity to attract the strange in the world.
This however has been something that my family has known about me for years, they used to call me the Mother Theresa of the freaks, geeks and whores. My friends could have been described as a menagerie of characters ranging from the drama kids, to the outcasts, to the girls in school who gave “it” up to easily. And yet I didn’t fit into any of those groups. I didn’t have the dedication to be part of Drama, I was too much a social butterfly to be part of the outcasts and I was as pure as the driven snow. But despite that I still seemed to attract people from all of these different groups.
My aunt asked me once what it was about all these different people that I liked in them. After thinking about it for a while I responded to her saying that I think I like projects. We laughed at the idea, but then the realism of what I said set in. I did like projects, I have an ability to see the positive in people, glorify them and see their potential in life, and then I try to help them reach that potential, whether they want it or not. And that became a problem, because although I always had friends in my life, I never had them for very long. And in retrospect it is most likely because I did try to change them or mold them into what I thought they could be. Though this pattern ended years ago, I still try to keep a check on my high expectations of others, and understand that change can only come when it’s wanted.
So although my friendship projects have ended, that doesn’t mean my magnetism toward weird and wonderful individuals hasn’t. As my coworker said best “if there’s a weird-o in a ten minute radius, they’ll find you” now I just don’t try to make them my friends, or if I do, I don’t change them.