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It has been brought to my attention by a couple of people close to me, quite a bit of late how much more strong willed and assertive **some say aggressive** I have become in the last few years.

The reality is that this change has been happening gradually over the last decade but has become more obvious in the last 3 to 6 years and can be attributed to the following 3 things:

I found and lost my best friend, I started my degree, and because I have been single for some time and I have become jaded and cynical by and about the dating world.

My best friend **who I have written about before** opened my mind and sparked a dormant, untapped curiosity and a desire to learn in me. The person I used to speak to about all the unfairness, feelings of powerlessness, life and love, is no longer there to lighten my mood and give me a equally intelligent and helpful perspective, and ideas on how I can help or change in some small way. Everything feels just a bit heavier without her.

P also put me on my path in starting my degree in international studies, which have made the injustices in the world become more obvious.

Perhaps because my blinkers are off?!

So the anger I felt before at the horrendous things going on in the world have multiplied, and my frustration with those cause the horrors and those who do not want to see it drives me to distraction....

Online dating is soulless and vapid.

It feels like it's just about getting attention and/or sex. The groundhog day feeling of the same conversation on repeat has worn a hole in my psyche. I am done and out! Bored with the Delete-Next mentality that I ended up having and I am sure was had with regard to me too. I was once accused of having standards?! **Not too high standards, just standards**, Honestly I took it as a complement. I have been told since my standards are too high. I accept that if that is the case I will be single, realistically they aren't really that high, I just do not and will not accept the treatment I have in the past. **believe me it's a pretty low bar** Why should I be with just anyone, for the sake of not being alone?

I am sensitive but that doesn't mean I am a soft spoken wall flower. I am way too forgiving but I will still tell you if I think you are wrong. I am bored easily by small talk, so often I am too intense for anyone I meet and even for those that have known me a long time.

So often I have to try to turn my brain off which makes me standoffish or the complete opposite and overly buoyant .

I try not to judge although most of us do this without doing it knowingly. I suppose the difference is that I will always reevaluate the situation, and my judgement and try to understand where it came from. And if it needs to be changed or if I need to learn more about the person or circumstance. Is it an unconscious bias that is playing a role or is my gut right and trying to protect me?

So even my some of closest friends don't really know me, perhaps because they don't want to, or maybe because I am not just that fun loving girl I once was and there is more to deal with now.

I am so much more engaged with what is going on in the world, I think this puts people off. I am often accused of being too deep, of liking the profound. Perhaps they are not ready for the kind of questions or conversations that I spark or engage in? Some of my friendships have changed and some have disappeared completely. I often don't get invited to go places by certain friends because I am in their perception too hard work. We are no longer walking parallel paths and the diverging of our journeys means we have far less in common, or simply cannot find the common ground.

Does this make me cry or upset me? Of course it does losing or the changing of relationships affects me deeply. It can be lonely to always be on the outside. But understanding that, this is how it is now meant to be is helpful.

Reasons, seasons and lifetimes is my favourite poem about friendship, and the main theme is about the changing of friendships and why. I try to be pretty philosophical when it comes to changes in relationships. These changes are necessary for me to continue my journey and them to continue theirs. As the seasons of our lives change so do they things we need to sustain us and help us grow.

So am I hard work? And so hard to love?

Honestly I don't think I am, I am complex and complicated, with and deep and desperate desire to keep learning, and changing. I am intelligent **it's more than OK for me to acknowledge that after years or not seeing it, hiding or running away from it**, I am emotionally intelligent too, and when I love, I love with depth and understanding. So I have a huge amount to offer in terms of friendship and romantically.

So those people who part of my life, are special because they get and keep my attention, they bring the things I need and it is reciprocated, they challenge, question, support and love not just at the emotional level but on an intellectual plain too.

I don't play games and for me life is not about the superficial of what you have or what you look like (don't get me wrong I still subscribe to attraction needing to be present for a romantic relationship to have any kind of chance **I love a six pack as much as the next girl**).

So the reason for this post is for anyone who may feel untethered or just on the periphery it's OK to be the observer, the challenging influence, it means you are paying attention!

We may one day find our space and our people, those that not only inspire us but are inspired by us and hopefully we get to do great things but for now, it's good to be different and it's a blessing to be hard to love.

As always thank you for reading, feel free to tell me your stories or ask questions.

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