I Don't Know How To Be A Friend
I am the first child of a single mother. My little sister and I are about 15 years a part in age. Growing up I was anti social. I was quiet. I never understood my emotions and I didn't talk about them. I never understood friendship because it always seemed like people were only your friends because you saw them everyday, or they lived next to you. But would they be your friends if you lived on the other side of the world or didn't go to the same school as you?
I'm not a good friend... I help people on a daily basis, I've lifted people from poverty, I've gotten people jobs, gigs, but it was never because they were my friends. It was because I cared about people. I know what its like to be homeless, to be starving, to not know where your next meal will come from. I know what suicidal thoughts sound like, I know how it feels to want to take your life because you don't know why the hell your here. It seems we all know how that feels but yet we avoid one another on a day to day basis. We avoid each other's feelings, we avoid people once they show any sign of being human. One mistake and a person is not your friend any more.
Friendship doesn't come with a manual. When is someone your friend? Do I need to know your mom? Do I need to hang out with you once a week? If I miss your call and forget to hit you back am I no longer your friend? I never knew what made a good friend. I often don't want to do anything that doesn't inspire me or make me feel alive. But friends do things they don't want to do for people they love. I have things I think about at 3am but all of my "friends" have wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, jobs, so they pick up. Ive seen ppl be friends and then stop being friends soon as one person has someone in their life they can now talk to or confine in.
Selfishness is a real thing that destroys friendships. Its not all about you. Who cares if your friend's ideas are small, or big. Their your friend. Being someone's friend means helping lift them from their dark places well before they ask you for your help. I been alone my whole life by choice. People have let me down or helped me by doing the bare minimum. I felt it safe to just focus on myself and my own goals or work with people with similar goals. The friend thing is new to me and I admit I still battle with the voices in my head. I look at ppl I care about and see all the ways they can improve their ideas, their goals. I see the future version of them when I look in their eyes but yet nothing I say can make them richer, nothing I say can make them happier if they don't want it for themselves. And I end up leaving them behind or distancing myself from them because where I'm going requires a choice. A choice to wake up happy, a choice to go in day after day after day.
But your friends aren't always going to be cheerful. Their not always going to have the energy and to abandon them during those times to focus on what you want is selfish. I called when I needed a favor but not just to see how their doing. Because of the dark place I've come from every second on the clock determines if I'm going to eat tomorrow or not so I placed value on my time as if it were money. But part of my depression came from not having the perspective of friends. I fear I'm going to become very successful and my phone is going to be filled with texts about meetings and money but none about how I'm doing. None that say I love you. And I'm going to wish I cared more about the people around me.
We think people will be here tomorrow. And that's not true. They aren't your employees, they aren't just your business partners, or classmates, they are real, live, breathing human beings with thoughts, feelings and emotions just like you. Behind their advice is history. Every time they show up for you and you don't show for them you hurt them. When you demean their ideas because they aren't as big as yours or as thought out, you hurt them. I dont know how to be anyone's friend so I stay to myself. Maybe I'll die alone one day. But you dont have to. Cherish the people who care enough to see how your doing. Check in on the people who care enough to check on you. I can't tell who wants to do future business with me or who truly wants to know how Im doing. Artists don't work regular jobs that pay them a check. What we do today determines if we will have a place to sleep tomorrow. I've picked up bad habits that I'm trying to work on.
I rather live in my head than talk to the people right in front of me asking me questions. Cus I can't judge me. Cus I won't hurt me. But I'm hurting myself everyday pushing away the people God put here to help me. Don't be like me. Love your friends.