Friends and foes, in equal measure, make your life more fun, more exhilarating and more dramatic in this dreary world. They make you crave communication, fun, adventure, and acceptance. Your friends, to some extent, make you who you are; ‘show me your friends; I’ll tell you your character’ they say. This doesn’t really apply to me, because my friends are a cocktail. I have friends who are polar opposites of one another. Your enemies, on the other hand, show you a different side of you. A much-needed realization of self; a dark, cold self that we would rather not indulge.
I have loads of friends, from my early childhood through my school life, to the adult I am today. But the really close and most valued are a handful. I pride myself on being a good friend. I treat them as I would want them to treat me. Talk to me, I’ll talk to you. Call me, I’ll call you. Cultivate a relationship and I’ll cultivate too. I treasure my friends and invest feelings and emotions. I never want to wrong or step on anyone’s toes. I am never judgmental of them or the choices they make because I wouldn’t want them to judge me too. I love, respect and cherish the people they are. But I am a people pleaser, a constant weakness that I have been unable to shake off. I tend to go above and beyond with people who don’t even deserve my time, but that’s just me, trying not to upset or see anyone unhappy.
Early this year, I lost a friendship that I held close to my heart. We had a real connection, a real friendship. We were all up in each other’s business. We used to chill, party, treat ourselves to dinners, mani-pedis, you know, the works! We held each other’s secrets and all was fine and dandy until she went mute on me. She no longer replied to texts, to calls and never communicated with me. So being the people pleaser that I am, I really struggled with that. I fought so hard the need to call her but I failed miserably. I reached out. I called and she would tell me she was busy that she’d call back. Which never happened by the way.. eiii, heartache! I reached out on text and she would respond and say that everything was okay.
I wanted to know why our friendship had just ended abruptly. I poked and prodded trying to find out if I had said or done anything wrong. Her answer was always that everything was okay and that I hadn’t done anything wrong. But we weren’t chilling. We weren’t talking and going out. Eventually, I finally gave up and just assumed that maybe ‘niliisha fashion’. But it never sat well with me. In a span of 2-3 months, I really struggled with what the whole situation was and I just decided that I had put enough energy in trying to revive a dead horse. I quit trying. And folks, it was almost as painful as breaking up with a boyfriend. So eventually, I stopped calling and texting and accepted that that chapter was over and moved on with my life.
Why did I put so much effort you ask? Because I don’t quit on my pals. I wouldn’t want to let go of the friendship and she might have been going through a rough time. I didn’t want to be the friend who quit on her friend when she was on hard times. But such is life, and I have learned to take life as it is, not dwell too much on the things that I cannot change and forge forward. But just recently, I bumped into her and she finally explained why she bounced on me. She was guilty of something and her conscience couldn’t let her face me. So I let her be.
But also in the course of life, I have met some beautiful amazing human beings. I have had friends from as far as I can remember. My childhood friends are still a major part of my life; we grew up together in the hood and know and accept me for who I am and love me just the same. I have my girls who have helped me learn and grow and understand who a woman is. I have made friends who I met along the way; school, work, social activities, and neighbors. Friends who are fun and outgoing and ones that are total recluses. Friends who drink and puff and those who never indulge. Friends who are hardcore Christians and those who haven’t stepped foot in a church for years. I have friends who are single and seriously mingling and those who are married. I have moneyed friends in high places and ones who are struggling in the trenches. All in all, I treasure these friendships. All these people have taught me different lessons in life that have molded and shaped who I am. I am able to learn from their mistakes, emulate their wise decisions and become a better person.
In all these beautiful souls, I have 2 or 3 who have made a huge impact on my life so far. Friends that have walked with me in my darkest hours and gotten to see me shine and be where I am today. Those who call me out on my bullshit and set me on the straight and narrow. Those who pray, love and cherish me deeply and earnestly. (woi, how I pray these friends stay forever)
I believe in the power of friendships. In taking care of one another and living a life surrounded by love and laughter. I believe in giving friends a chance when they deserve it. I believe in the power of perception; where we get to choose who we want around us, wisely. I believe in forgiveness; forgive that friend who wronged you and ask for forgiveness to those you wronged. Make peace with the fact that you fell out with some but be glad that you get to make more.
So go out and make friends, reach out to your friends, know how they are doing, and be a good and earnest friend because as they say, no man is an island.
P.s Lean on me and Graduation to keep you going…