I know there was a time in the last year that I shared my insight on maintaining friendships as a parent. Being a parent and making time for friendships has to be one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in adulthood. I’m slowly but surely discovering that, parent or not, I just plain suck at being a friend. I’ve never been one of those girls in my lifetime that surrounded myself with people. I never had a group or a crowd. I was never really popular or surrounded by a group of people. I was a loner and stuck to the one or two close people I could trust. As a kid, it wasn’t that I didn’t like people or that I didn’t have the time to put effort into friendships. I just didn’t care… or I was too anxious… or I was too busy… or I was too heartbroken.
As I grew older, things didn’t change. I was in a sorority in college and had a wider variety of friends to choose from, but I always seemed to be that outsider that never fit in. I found myself dumping my energy into superficial friendships and coming out on the other side broken. Here’s the thing about me… people either love me or hate me. People adore me or think I’m a total bitch. I’ve tried numerous times in the past to change my approach or to be someone more upbeat, but I quickly realized I wasn’t changing for the right reasons. I’ve been told “my way” is the wrong way. That I should learn to be more approachable. Learn to be more open. That I should really work on my “likability” factor. But you see, I like me. I like who I am. I’m abrasive. I’m blunt. I’m raw. I’m real. I’m entirely zero bullshit.. and I like it.
I’m having a hard time right now understanding why society forces us to grow up and believe that we need to surround ourselves with a community of people. I’m struggling to understand why it’s stressed that we should open up our hearts and let everyone in. I’m having a hard time understanding why people think I should make “friends” with someone merely due to our similarities or for the simple fact that we are involved in similar things. I’ve been in those situations in the past. Opened myself up to individuals who were similar to me. Had a plethora of friendships to choose from. And what did I end up with? Getting burnt or being hurt.
I believe there’s a huge difference between being friendly and being friends. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a friendly person or at least I try to be. I know how to be socially appropriate. How to smile and say hello. How to be supportive. How to be apart of a community. But that doesn’t mean I have to add you to social media and SnapChat you every time I take a shit. Being a friend has so much more meaning than being friendly. My friends, you lucky bitches, know my heart and soul… and they don’t judge me. My friends have scraped me up off the floor during the bad times and bounced around with delight during the great times! My friends don’t try to copy me or mimic me… or even be me! They embrace me for who I am, and they are there when I need them. They complement me. They lift me up and encourage me. But they also knock me down when I’ve walked up a tad too high on my pedestal.
If you’re one of my few close friends, you understand the struggle it is in maintaining our friendship. But I can truly say with confidence that you value our friendship. I want you to know that I value it, too. I’m truly thankful for the wall you busted down in order to create such a beautiful relationship between us and the hard work we both maintain to keep this shit real. I appreciate that you laugh at my jokes, pretend you support my yoga journey, encourage me to strive to be better, and always talk me out of my impulsive actions. I appreciate the fact that we can bite each other’s heads off and tell a joke all in the same conversation. I appreciate our rawness. Our realness. Our ability to be upfront and honest. I appreciate the fact that I know you aren’t going anywhere… and my lack of friends shows you that I’m in it for the long haul, too.
Saying I suck at friendships doesn’t mean I’m closed off to finding new friendships. It doesn’t mean I’m a robot with a cold, black heart. I always have my heart slightly open to new people coming into my life. I think it’d be absurd for me to think people don’t come in and out of our lives for a reason. That’s the beauty of life… it’s unexpected…. and every once in awhile I come across that true beauty that takes my breath away… that reminds me people you’d least expect can be the greatest of friends… I’ll never be afraid to let them in