Friendship has become such a fickle fucking thing.
There are people who are no longer in my life who I never thought would be people who would no longer be in my life. There are people in my life who make me cock my head with a smile and say, “So hold up. That chance meeting several years ago really evolved into THIS?!! Like we’re real live homies?? Your kids call me Aunt Janell, and shit?? Man, that’s dope!”
The ebbs and tides of this always flowing, always in motion circular ocean of friendship is such a peculiar thing. You see the waves and expect a few weird storms, but nothing that doesn’t return to calm. And then you realize, that you’re just floating on the surface. There’s a whole ‘nother world going on down below.
I’m realizing that it has only been since I entered my 40s that I actually see my friends as women and not just some cool ass folks who are obligated to carve out time for me. I guess that why the guidelines of friendship don’t really exist for me. I mean, we know that there’s just certain shit that you ain’t supposed to do; Don’t tell my business, Don’t put too much of yours on me, Don’t ever make me question your loyalty, etc… you know those basics of friendship. But because I know you’re a whole woman moving through a whole life, I don’t expect to hear from you everyday. I don’t need to see you every weekend. And with all due respect, you don’t even have to call me. Just text me sometimes to check in and let me lay eyes on you at least once a month or so, and I’m good.
But then I had to step back and remember that because of every load that we’re each balancing, maybe we do need to start checking in with each other more. Check on your strong friends, right?
One of my very good friends had a terrible cancer scare recently. During the conversation following her announcement, we realized that all of us had some pretty serious medical concerns brewing and had been so distant with contact, that none of us knew about the others. It made me sad. It may me think of the things Mama didn’t tell me about. Sickness and loss. Mama ain’t warn us about those parts.
I don’t want my good friends to become cool acquaintances. I don’t want to hear of bad news via text with some bullshit about, “well, I know we all have stuff going on so I didn’t want to say anything.” No. I’m supposed to be there sitting on the bed saying, “girl, let me see. I don’t think that’s a lump but let’s make an appointment anyway.” That part. These women are connections to a larger lifeline for me. How was I reciprocating? I wasn’t. I turned into the friend who you don’t invite to anything because she ain’t coming. The “you know she don’t come nowhere, girl” girlfriend. What was this about?
Surprisingly, it’s nothing bad. It’s about personal contentment. For as weary as I feel with day to day stress at times, life really ain’t that bad for me right now. I’ve never experienced that with the charges of children in tow. These good days are mine. And sometimes, I just like sitting in that. I’ve never been able to escape from the bustle of the world, never been able to retreat into my own cocoon in my home. Home never represented peace for me. It was a place where I cowered and felt sorry for myself. Now it is the exact opposite. So I get caught up in that and miss out on milestones and happenings, and my excuses are accepted with a polite smile.
Like a familiar acquaintance. That’s not the move, bucko.
But there are times, and will be plenty more, when I’ve had to step back and think, “Hmmm. This don’t feel like friendship.” I don’t do the whole compete with faces who look like yours thing. I don’t like what it looks like or how it feels. If I’m eating, you better have your plate ready. That’s just how I roll. I can’t be around females who make everything into a anything-you-can-do-I’ve done better type of deal. I cannot. There is a big difference in motivating and competing.
People are quick to say, well people change. Or grow apart. How does that happen with something that’s rooted? We evolve. We create families and life nests. We add and subtract people; give birth and experience loss. But to lose someone simply because you forgot to “see” them, or from being too busy brings a vibe of sadness in.
I don’t want to be too caught up in me to catch up with my girls during a much-needed couch session of wine and whine. I want to sit, legs crossed, in my front row seat.
That cancer scare with my gggf put a lot into perspective for me. I still have a lot to work on; such is life. But what I do know is that everyone rocking with me is permanent. And those curve balls that pop me in my head every now and again, help me remember that this realm is all that we get (that we know of) with our girls, our friends. I’d like to think that when I close my eyes and go on to wherever it is that we go, that my GG’s will be at the gate with food and wine. But I don’t know. So I better love on those suckas hard while I can.
The easiest thing about maintaining the solidness of friendship is simple: Be who you need. But remember that someone may need just a little bit more. Don’t be so caught up in your own little world that you forget about the people who protect you when you need an escape for yours.