Tuesday, April 15, 2014
When I was younger, my mother use to tell me that I had too many friends. I couldn't understand how someone could have too many friends? At the time, the only thing you really expected from your friends were to eat lunch with you and talk all night on the phone about who you had a crush on. Albeit, I would find myself in weird transitions where I had a few rocky patches regarding making friends. Starting a new school, it took a while for me to meet friends. In college, it took me two tears to make solid, dependable friendships. After college, I realized that making friends became a lot harder. In the real world, people have so many other commitments that they cannot spend their time crying with you after your then-boyfriend broke your heart. Yes… I just made this about me!
Well, prime example. My then boyfriend, now known as THE WORSE, broke up with me… I balled for maybe five days straight. I cried so much that my cheeks started burning due to all the salt in my tears. I had my cousin hostage on the phone for over four hours a day. And while my cousin was definitely a rock for me, in the back of my mind all I could think about was “where the fuck are my friends?” Where was the mob to join me on an ice cream binge, or look at the pictures of all his ex-girlfriend’s only to tell me how much prettier I am compared to them? Where were my friends that would put a towel over their shoulder and say, “Hey, here, feel free to drool on me for a few hours as you sob”? As an adult, friendships require a bit more than just having someone to eat lunch with it. A friend is someone that you could talk to, someone who you feel comfortable with, someone you can trust and share your intimate secrets with, someone who would drive past your boyfriends house to spy on him with you, someone who would give you a place to hideout when the police are looking for you... you know?
At my age, in the real world, people have their own problems. And while I wanted so desperately to kick and scream ‘I HAVE NO FRIENDS’ followed by throwing myself down a flight of stairs, I resisted. I realized that as you age, friends start to serve different purposes and that not everyone is going to dedicate that time to you. While I was hurting, I realized that my friends had their own problems and that they would not be dropping everything to be at my side. Not that ‘having your own problems’ is any excuse to not be there for your friend… because trust me, during this time I realized truly, how many friends I had. Not including the "friends" who only called me to find out how the break-up happened versus calling me to see how I was doing.
I am learning that some struggles you will have to face alone. And luckily for me, while I did not have many friends in my corner, I had two or three good women by my side. I had two or three friends who would listen to me tell the same story incessantly of how he broke my heart. And I realized for the first time what my mother was telling me all along… I had too many friends. I had quantity and not quality. And while I enjoyed hanging out with many of my DC peeps… I realized that many of them were just that… someone to hang out with. Friends are hard to come by and I am realizing that you shouldn't label everyone you talk to as a friend. My mentor in college told me to call my classmate my classmate, call my coworker my coworker, call my roommate my roommate and only call your friends your friends.
I still have many friends, about 15 people who I would most definitely want to be bridesmaids (I know… that is tacky but so what) in my wedding. And most of these friends are people that I met before and during college. I cherish my friends and I realized that life has taken us on different journeys so while they may not be there for me during my darkest hour; I know that if they could – they would. And those who don’t have your best interest at heart, well… you can just drop them. You can’t pick your family but you determine whom you consider a friend.
And before I end this random entry, I want to suggest that next time a friend seems like they need some emotional support, pick up the phone and call them or invite them out to lunch. Texting is cool but sometimes it is not enough. Sometimes just saying 'I will pray for you' is not enough. Your friend is worth it.