We’ve all had one of those friends who we love dearly but if we are honest we also get annoyed with because they are such an Expert on everything. For me that person was Amy
Amy and I have known each for longer than I can remember, we grew up together and we went to school together. Although I didn’t really notice it during my school years I can look back now and see that quite often Amy tried to prove her expertise over everyone else. It wasn’t in a smug way, just in a way that saw her trying to convince everyone she was the best at everything. When in actual fact she was middle of the road, just like the rest of us.
At 20 years old instead of going out on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night Amy was career driven, too focused on work and studies to relax. It wasn’t revealed until years later that those nights were actually spent sitting at home with her mum talking about boys.
At 26 she met David, an equally career driven son of multi-millionaire who was destined to become CEO of his father’s business before he was 30 and together they virtually shunned all Amy’s friends. To her credit Amy did try to stay connected with her friends but her career and her life were just not a good fit with her old life and the only person she remained totally connected to was her mother.
By the time her first marriage fell apart at 29, because David found a younger model who wasn’t as perfect as Amy, Amy was completely lost. She tried reconnecting with her old friends and although things were okay they were never the same. Before she knew it she was back living with her mother, but atleast with her mum no one questioned her expertise.
At 32 Amy’s life took a massive change, she met Frank, it was love at first sight and by the time she was 36 they were married and expecting a baby. Although she was still an expert at most things even she was knew she wasn’t an expert at friendships, but thankfully with her new husband and her mother, Amy was still happy. She thought.
When Alexia was born Amy, with the help of her own mother, became an expert mother. She again tried to reconnect with our group of school friends but yet again it was awkward and all involved felt uncomfortable the more time they spent together. By the time Alexia was 3 the circle of friendship had again drifted apart.
For Amy’s 46th birthday she got her second divorce. It was Frank’s fault, he was spending too much time at work and too much time on the golf course. So back to mum’s she went, this time with Alexia.
In the year Amy tuned 50, Alexia turned 14 and was acting out, getting in trouble with her friends, experimenting with alcohol and even getting brought home by the police on more than one occasion. Yet again she blamed Frank. He was always punishing her for the littlest of mistakes and his stern tones when she was in trouble scared her into submission. After every second weekend when she came home from her father’s house she always came home ready to break out and ‘live’ her life. ‘If Frank wasn’t so strict Alexia would have felt no need to act out when she came home.’ Amy told herself each time she tried to cuddle Alexia into submission and be her friend instead of her mother.
In the same year Amy’s mum hopped aboard one of those Senior’s River Cruises in Europe. While Amy was jealous that her mum would be living it up in Europe for 3 months she was also happy for her. But that all changed when Amy’s mum rang her 2 months into the trip and told her she’d met Henry and they were extending their holiday for 12 months.
However it wasn’t until Amy was 52, her mother had returned home once and since returned to London with Henry all but gifting her the house, that Amy came to the biggest realisation of her life. The realisation that she wasn’t the expert she thought and that most of the failings in her life could be attributed as much to herself as to those she’d spent all the years blaming.
Whether the realisation would have come without intervention still remains to be seen. I’d like to think it would have, but in all honesty it should have come years and years earlier so maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my behalf.
But the day Alexia walked in and found Amy Asleep At The Wheel even Amy was forced into the realisation that she’d spent the past 6 years caught up in herself, forgetting that the rest of the world still existed unless it came up and bit her.
For her 53rd birthday, which was last weekend, Amy spent the day giving not receiving. She offered apologies to Frank, Alexia, to her mum and she even reached out to her old circle of friends. It had taken 53 years but Amy had finally learnt two very important things. All people make mistakes, especially her and that forgiving others for their mistakes without pointing them out can be as rewarding as having them forgive you.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t regret everything in my life, but sometimes being an expert really does fuck things up. (oops did I just refer to Amy in the first person then?)