Through Thick & Thin
Just like relationships, maintaining friendships takes a lot of work. Though friendships aren’t always supposed to be a walk in the park, they shouldn’t be over complicated either. As I reflect on my life thus far, I can say I’ve definitely been able to develop meaningful friendships out of tough situations that have occurred throughout my life. Too often we throw the word “friend” around, and those same people barely even qualify as an acquaintance. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect friends to fight every single battle for me, nor do I expect them to agree with everything I say. But I do think a friend is expected to be there during the ups and downs. Through thick & thin!
As women we tend to bicker, it’s in our nature. We might call our best friend a bitch one day, and be dancing on top of the bar with her the next day. Coyote Ugly Style! My grandma and her best friend have been thick as thieves for over fifty years! Can you imagine?! Sure they don’t always agree on everything (I mean who does?), but at the end of the day, they support and love each other no matter what. If my grandma told her friend that somebody was talking smack, best believe she would bust down the door coming to kick some ass and ask questions later. And I love that! If one silly little disagreement can end a friendship forever, then I don’t believe that friendship was meant to be. Even if some time and space is needed to start speaking again, a good friend will patch things up and move forward, because they know there’s nothing but love at the core.
My mom is extremely picky about who she is friends with. (Definitely where I got it from). My mom is very particular on who she calls her “friends” and who she lets into her personal life. She’s so private that she doesn’t even have social media, and has never had the desire to (sending her memes is so hard though ugh.) Recently she reconnected with someone who she had considered her best friend before I was even born. I never really knew why they had fallen out, I was pretty young when it happened. But I definitely noticed when she stopped coming around. They hadn’t spoken for over a decade, and then one day her friend reached out to my dad and uncle, ironically, through social media. Even though SO much time had passed, my mom always knew her friend was a genuine person. There was never any sort of competition or comparison, just support for one another. Because of this, my mom was more than willing to accept her back into her life. And she’s been a great addition to our lives! She always supports me and my brother’s achievements, she’s definitely one of our biggest hype women LOL. My mom doesn’t tell her to do that, and she doesn’t even have to. But she does it because she’s truly good friend to my mom and she knows how important her kids are to her.
Though I can now say I have a few good friends that I would drop everything for, the road to get here wasn’t easy. Recently when I was starting this blog, I reached out to some people on my friends list and asked if they would mind supporting/following me. I reached out to one particular friend I had gone to prom with, and even spent time with in NYC last time I was there. He definitely has changed A LOT since high school… for the worst. During high school, he struggled with fitting in and with his sexuality, and I would always be there to lend an ear when he needed to vent. Last time we saw each other he discussed some personal family drama he had been dealing with, so after learning this I would try my best to reach out and send his mom my well wishes. But when I realize someone isn’t giving me back the same love… I’m not going to continue doing so. Through the past seven years I have lived in California I have gone through a fucking LOT. One of those MANY things was having a goddamn tumor on the nerves of my face. (I’m tumor free now though, yay!) Did he reach out to me at all to send condolences? Nope! He would see my IG stories and posts everyday, so he can’t say he “didn’t know”. So recently when I reached out to ask for his support on my blog, he had the fucking audacity to say I was “sketch” and using him for followers. Yeah… I’m soooo jealous of your 1,000 followers. SIR… if you don’t get your clout chasing ass a dose of reality ASAP… puhLEASE! He even brought up the fact that he was still mad, (3-4 years later mind you), that I didn’t come meet him in Huntington Beach. My mommy and daddy don’t pay for me sweetie. Sure they help me out with certain things, but I pay my own monthly bills, I pay my own insurance, and whatever else. I have to get up early and go to work as well as save/manage my money properly. So NO, as I already had explained, I am not paying $300-400 on a round trip Uber nor am I driving back alone from Huntington Beach at 2am after a night of drinking in the middle of the week. It’s disgustingly selfish for someone to even get mad about something like that. I even offered to meet somewhere in between on my day off, but that wasn’t good enough. Sure people grow apart, but you’re not going to accuse me of some bullshit. CTRL + ALT + DELTE outta my life!
I hate talking about my middle/high school experience, because truthfully I’m so over those miserable ass WASPY people. But I definitely did learn several lessons both inside and outside of the classroom. When I was in middle school I was friends with a girl who was on the promiscuous side. I mean, no judgement we all express ourselves in different ways… if that makes you happy… pop that thang girl! However people would constantly talk about her to me or say distasteful things when she wasn’t in the room. To which of course I would speak out against, and even mention to her what was said. But once I started to have problems of my own, it felt like I didn’t have the same support. I was a chubby black girl with glasses and braces among a class of skinny little white girls. I constantly dealt with feelings of self hatred and insecurity. I didn’t expect her to solve these problems whatsoever, but sometimes I just needed to know someone was there to listen. She was not. It felt like I was constantly bothering her with my emotions, and that I was only there to clean up all the messes she would make once she’d flirt with whatever guy friend I had at the time (something I’m now realizing was done on purpose). I would always take her to concerts, we would even go backstage! This check met JAY-Z, RIHANNA, AND BEYONCE OKAY. After a while it seemed like it was something she expected, rather than appreciated. Eventually she left the school and our friendship faded. I actually haven’t heard from her in years, I have no clue what she’s doing with her life. To be honest, I have no problem welcoming people back into my life just as my mom recently did, but sometimes people are removed from your life for good reasons.
Once I got to High School, I found a new “best friend”. She was a bit of an underdog. People weren’t very nice to her, but I like to see the good in people so I gave her a chance. For the most part our friendship wasn’t too bad. But I do feel like there was a bit of a cultural gap. For instance, she would come to my house and sit on our kitchen island… black people don’t play that shit. And I feel like that’s something I’d always have to remind her. Like, girl black people don’t go to country clubs. And anytime I WOULD go, I would hear “omg is this your adopted daughter?” Ah yes, because that’s the only way I’d be allowed in this shit hole establishment right? Not to toot my own horn, but I have certainly been in better and more affluent places than a fucking local country club, but I digress. I honestly don’t think this girl was a racist, but she definitely was fucking ignorant. She would constantly make comments about black hair, black people, etc. One time I forgot why this topic even came up, but for some reason I believe she and another classmate were talking about the actress Gabrielle Union. I don’t remember what the rest of the conversation entailed, because the only thing that stood out to me was when her lips had the audacity to form this statement. She looked over, pointed to me and said “Oh yeah, she’s more of a mocha color… like Tiffani!” First of all, I am a fine ass caramel swirl let’s not play boo! Second of all… how ignorant must you be to describe a black person (the same black person who has checked you SEVERAL times about the way you speak about black people) as MOCHA. Not only did I grow tired of her ignorance, I also grew tired of the blatant envy her and her mother possessed towards my family and I. Eventually our friendship faded as well, and I completely understood why. But when I continued to ask her for her side of things, she would act as though nothing was wrong. So the blatant ignorance, constant competition, and lack of communication really was the nail in the coffin for that friendship. Good riddance.
One good thing about that friendship was that it helped me meet one of my closest friends. When I moved to California, I was afraid this particular friendship would eventually fade out just like the others. Of course we’re busy with our own lives and don’t necessarily talk everyday, but we still manage to support one another thousands of miles away. In addition to that, we’ve also grown together. We’ve matured through the years and figured out our own paths while still being there for one another. We started out as two goofy camp counselors in training, and ten years later she’s finished grad school and is living her dreams as a teacher in NYC, while I am living my dreams in Los Angeles and working on reality TV shows. Who would’ve thought?! Not us LOL!
My other close friend, I met because I knocked on her dorm room door and introduced myself. For some reason I knew we would be friends for a while after that initial meeting. We are completely opposite personalities. She is very laid back and relaxed, and I’m always ready to turn up and turn out. But somehow it just works! Actually just the other day she called me asking if she could use my wi-fi to download something for work. Now, if anybody else would’ve called me at 8am asking for help… I definitely would’ve lied and said I missed the text. LET’S BE REAL. But because I know she would do the same for me, I got my ass up, dropped everything and made sure I was able to help in any way I could. I don’t expect anything in return, because I already know if I texted her saying I needed help she’d reciprocate. But also because our personalities differ, I would NEVER expect her to do anything out of her comfort zone, and vice versa. For instance, I know she doesn’t like to party, so I would never beg her to be my plus one at the bar. COYOTE UGLY STYLE!!! (Yes, I watched it recently, please forgive me LOL). But because we share the same sense of creativity and excitement towards life, we’ve been able to maintain a meaningful friendship for five years so far!
Sure friendships fade over time, and that’s perfectly natural. Things like distance and overall life changes can really put a strain on things. But often times, we tend to outgrow people… typically for the best. For example, you and your friend might have the same party mindset during college, but once one friend decides it’s time to get serious that friendship is likely to dissolve. When you realize that certain “friends” are only there for the high points in your life and not the low points, that friendship is also likely to dissolve. And truthfully, they weren’t even your friend in the first place. Because a true friend will be there through your worst times, and try to help you through it. It’s not your friends job to heal you, but it is important that they recognize when you’re struggling. However, if they only seem to bond with you during your low points, they probably don’t want to see you come out of it. As they say misery loves company! It’s normal for people to come in and out of your life, but make sure you find a few friends that will be there through thick and thin. Because those are the ones that’ll stick around forever!