Right so I know that this is a weird topic to write a blog post about but I just love hugs okay. I haven’t always liked hugs though. When I was a child whenever my friends would try to hug me I would either stand there motionless and not hug back just waiting for it to be over, or more commonly I would push them off immediately. I started doing this because I found hugs uncomfortable and weird. However, very quickly my friends seemed to find it funny like they would laugh every time I pushed them off. I love making people laugh, it’s just my absolute favourite thing, so I just kept doing it and never letting them hug me, I just kept pushing them away.
On the day of my Confirmation, I actually willingly hugged one of my friends before we left the church to go spend the day with our families. That was on a Friday. So when we got into school on the Monday, I think I hugged them when I got there but I definitely hugged them before I went home after school. I started hugging them everyday after school, but by Wednesday they stopped hugging back. I hugged one of them and another friend was there as well. They both looked at me and said “What are you doing?” I got really embarrassed and said “Uhh nothing, I’ll see you guys tomorrow. Bye.” I practically ran out of the classroom. I then decided it would be best not to hug anyone ever again. This personal ban on hugs lasted for another 4 and a half years I think.
I never wanted to hug anyone again after that because I feared the awkwardness of it and people thinking I’m weird. The thing is though, I needed a hug. Had I hugged people more, maybe I wouldn’t be as depressed. Maybe I wouldn’t feel so alone. Maybe I wouldn’t have wanted to end my own life on numerous occasions. Okay, that’s all a little extreme hugs are not that powerful, or so you might think. After that incident I didn’t try to hug anyone but also no one tried to hug me. The first hug to break this no hug streak was when I came back from our schools’ London Science Trip. I had a wristband and a Harry Potter key-chain that I had brought back for my friend who didn’t go and she hugged me when I gave them to her. I hugged back but it was weak. I was weak. This was in the morning so we both had our separate classes to go to, I had Physics, she had Spanish. On the walk to Physics, I was kinda freaking out. “Why did she hug me? Is she going to laugh away about this to her other friends? God I’m fat, it probably felt like she was hugging a big puffy marshmallow. Humans aren’t supposed to be marshmallows!!” I thought all of this on, what felt like, a quick walk to the other side of the school. On the outside, I probably looked unfazed just my normal frowning self. On the inside, I was crying and screaming and pointing out all my insecurities mostly regarding my weight. However, I then smirked and thought “She hugged me. That was a hug. It wasn’t awkward. It was actually a nice feeling. Someone actually wanted to hug me. You’re still fat though.” This hug would’ve been the first week of December in 2014, my last hug before that was maybe the last week of March in 2010. I got 2 more hugs later that month when I gave everyone in my class, and a few others in different classes Christmas cards. One was by that same friend, I didn’t freak out that time. I was just really excited that she hugged me again. The other one was from a girl I had developed a crush on while we were in London. I later found out that she’s a massive homophobe, so I really know how the pick the ladies don’t I?
I think the next time I hugged someone was in May. I had no problem waiting for it because I knew what was ahead. On the last day of school for 6th years, we have awards and a dance off against teachers which ends in a sad song where we all form a circle together, which was actually fairly awkward. Anyways after the circle, usually everyone says their goodbyes and starts crying and hugging everyone else. I knew that on that day you can hug anyone and everyone and it wouldn’t be weird. I hugged a lot of my friends who up until that point I hadn’t hugged once, I hadn’t even high fived most of them. Me and physical contact had (still have) a barely existent relationship. I was hugging one of them for a really long time, it didn’t help that I also had a crush on her like my heart was beating so fast I thought it would explode. We had this big emotional goodbye even though we would be seeing each other the next week in supervised study. The 1st friend who hugged me was having a party on the Friday of that week, so I hugged a couple people that day at the party.
Before I go on, I know that it’s weird that I can remember all the times I’ve been hugged in the last year, but I think that for someone like me a hug isn’t just something small, it’s insanely powerful. Okay so I didn’t really hug anyone again until the Debs which was on in the 2nd week of August and that was mostly because no had seen me in a long time and also I had actually showed up in a dress. I went for a meal with my friends in September, the week or two before my college orientation. We all hugged after the meal because we didn’t know when was the next time we would see each other. The answer being for most of them not for another 6 weeks. I have seen most of them in passing but I was only talking to them for a couple of minutes. I’m going to one of their houses for Halloween tomorrow and I am beyond excited.
I was working as a volunteer recently with the Kerry Film Festival and some of the people from the older years in my course were there too. So on Saturday night we had to block off one of the roads for an Open Air Cinema thing and there was two parts where to road was blocked off, so sometimes I was with one of the girls from 3rd year of my course and other times I was at one of the bollards and she was gone down to the other bollard up the road. The road had gotten kinda quite so I decided to sit on the bollard and face the screen, I was alone at the that point the girl I was with was at the other bollard for a while and I didn’t think she would be back for ages. So I was looking at the screen with my back to the road totally minding my own business when all of a sudden I feel someone grab me and quickly shout. I jumped forward and turned around to see that the 3rd year girl had returned, and was laughing so loudly because she succeeded in scaring me. I just kept repeating ” I hate you” over and over again to her. She had eventually finished laughing and I said “I hate you” one last time in sort of a quieter voice than before. She ruffled my beanie (it would’ve been my hair but it was cold out I needed a hat), and she hugged me, it was only a quick hug as a gesture to say she was sorry. She later gave me an Aldi brand knock-off version of Red Bull and all was forgiven.
I was up in Limerick on Wednesday to visit probably my best friend, because she just turned 18 and that needed to be celebrated. I say probably my best friend, because best friends is a two sided agreement, unless both parties agree you’re still only friends. Anyways I got up at 7:30am, during my mid term break, just so I could get an early bus up to UL. I nearly didn’t want to get out of bed, I was nervous about the day ahead. What if she didn’t really want to see me? What if she’d rather be with her college friends? I pushed those nerves aside and got up and got dressed. I was too nervous and sort of in a rush so I didn’t have breakfast, I just had a cup of coffee which usually does me fine for normal days when I’m just going to college. I think that being filled with nerves and being on a bus for 2 hours instead of 45 minutes, is what made me feel really nauseous which I never feel in a moving vehicle ever. I usually find car rides and bus journeys to be really relaxing, this one was not despite the lovely leather seats and spacious interior of the bus. I eventually got to the college, where I started doing some of my own college work while I waited for her to finish her classes for the day. When we met up we went for lunch in one of the many places to get food in UL. This was the first time I had been up there since starting in Tralee and by God do we need to improve in a lot of ways. We then went into their students union and they had a room full of pool tables, you know like that table thing in IT Tralee’s R-Block that’s been fucking broken since like week 3. They had a room full of comfortable chairs which also had an air hockey table and a foosball table. In Tralee, we have one uber comfortable leather couch with a couple other mediocre couches nearby. There was also a games room that the games society were in. They had 3 big TV’s and had a load of consoles like a PlayStation 4 and a Wii U. They also had a press full of games and gaming accessories like pedals for racing games. Had it not been completely filled to capacity with boys I would’ve been in heaven. Either way this was also a bit of a contrast to Tralee’s SU room that yes does has a PlayStation 4 but only has Fifa 16 and a not so big TV really high up on the wall, with the PS4 also being really high up in just such an awkward place. I love my college don’t get me wrong, but they could do a little more really.
So while we were in the SU building in her college, we were in the pool table room and we played a couple of games. I didn’t really like it in there and there was people she was friends with from her course in there so I knew it would be rude of me to ask to leave. We were waiting for a call from her brother because he had the keys to her place. We eventually got the call. Not only did I want to just get out of the SU building but I had also noticed something about her that I wanted to talk to her about in private because it was/is a serious matter. So we got to her place but I didn’t bring up that matter yet. I had not one but 2 birthday cards to give her, as I couldn’t decided what one I wanted to give her and also I had a lot to write in them because I love to write (You can probably already tell from this extra long blog post that I can’t stop writing). One card had “18” on the front, so I wrote in it about all the things she can do now that she’s 18. The 2nd card was purple with a cupcake on it. This one I wrote more about our friendship, like we’ve only been friends for 10 months. I wrote a short list of a lot of our memories and that there was more memories to come, which I know sounds really gay and I wrote in the card that it was very gay. I also ended it with saying that I loved her, which I’ve never said to her before, and technically still haven’t because that was only written. The thing is though I do love her and as best friends go I wouldn’t want anyone else (sorry to any of my other friends who will read this and I know that she probably won’t read this). So after the cupcake card I pulled out two boxes of homemade cupcakes that I made for her birthday. We each had one, and when she had started a 2nd one I brought up the serious topic. Now I didn’t make the conversation too serious or anything because I didn’t want her to feel like I was angry or disappointed in her because I wasn’t. I just wanted to know what was wrong. She purposely stuffed half the cupcake in her mouth so she wouldn’t have to talk about it. The conversation didn’t get sad, it was very light-hearted but if I hadn’t brought it up, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night. On a lighter note, later on we went out to one of the on-campus bars to go for drinks with her friends. I’ve never drank before but I thought what better time to try some drinks than being with my friend. She was having Fosters because it was cheap, I had two sips of it in the 2-ish hours I was there and I didn’t like it at all. Her friend had Cider and I’d say I had about 6 or 7 sips of it because I really did like it. I didn’t have like a full drink myself or anything, because I did have to get a bus home that night. In the pub, Liverpool was playing on TV which was great because I love watching soccer and also they won. The bus was picking me up just a little bit away from that pub, so my friend walked me over there 5 minutes before it was about to arrive and she said she would give me a hug before I left. So we talked while waiting for the bus, which was late, for a couple of minutes. When it arrived we hugged for a long time. Since starting college I’ve needed a hug, more than I’ve needed coffee in the mornings. So I did not want the hug to end. I felt her sort of let go after like a normal amount of time, but I wasn’t ready to let go. So I think when she noticed this she actually hugged me even tighter than before because she knew I wasn’t going to let go. I let go eventually just to make sure the bus didn’t go away without me, and we both said goodbye. We are both seeing each other tomorrow but we hadn’t seen each other in so long that the hug was making up for all of that lost time.
That last hug is the reason I wanted to write this blog post. I told my friend on the way over to the pub that I’ve needed a hug for at least 6 weeks but there was no one there to give me one. She didn’t know I felt this way, she thought I had said before that I didn’t like hugs, otherwise she would’ve hugged me when I gave her the birthday cards. I had said something like that before but I was more saying that from past experiences I find it difficult to initiate hugs, I get too anxious, but that didn’t mean I didn’t like hugs.