I can't believe it's already May! I had to travel to London last minute for work and I'm having wine at my favorite Waterstone's bar and trying to figure out where all the time has gone!
My last post was a Valentine's dress inspo post way back in February. Since then so much has happened I'm not even sure where to begin.
I'll start with the title of this blog post. "On realizing I'm OK Not Having Friends."
This post is not meant to solicit sympathy or pity. Last time I did a Youtube video on a similar subject, a few people reached out and basically tried to form a connection with me. It was a disaster. I believe they had good intentions, however, I think they got the wrong impression about me and ultimately ended up being disappointed. So I'm just putting this out there - I'm not writing this post in hopes that someone will see me as a "lost soul" who needs a mentor or someone to take me under their wing and "show me how to live." I'm also not looking to join a clique or be the Black Best Friend. I'm not looking for a drinking buddy or a fuck buddy. I'm not looking to be anyone else's mentor or take anyone under my wing. And I'm certainly not trying to attract new bullies, narcissists, sociopaths or really intense people who expect me to respond to every text message immediately after it's been sent. I'm merely writing a post about friendships. Enjoy the read.
Having said that, let's get into it...
Two long time friends didn't show up for my wedding last year. One friend let me know she couldn't be there while the other literally ghosted me. Though I was really hurt at the same time I knew on some level that neither person would come anyway.
So I wasn't that surprised. I let it go and just sort of pushed forward with the wedding and with moving to Italy. But when I thought about it...really thought about...it was pretty fucked up. Not just because they didn't show up for me also because I knew they wouldn't be there - and I was already prepared to accept that.
That's not good.
I didn't get to be a bridezilla, ya'll. Not saying I wanted to be - but I couldn't be even if I'd wanted to. I simply wasn't entitled - I could not be an entitled Becky bride. I had to be gracious and calm and I had to compromise on everything about the wedding. Right down to the mayonnaise. Those that know me know I hate mayonnaise. So naturally I didn't want it anywhere near my wedding. But...that was a battle I did not win. So yeah, I was already stressed and feeling anxious and literally felt like I had no voice and on top of that - the two people I thought were my closest friends - did not show up for me. Not only that, but they disappeared on me for months. Months.
I was tired. I had finally reached my limit.
Instead of going back to my old ways of smoothing things over and making sure everyone else felt OK, I went on my honeymoon (Pictured above in Fuerteventura. Blog post coming soon!) and in that time I let it all go. At about the same time I had a falling out with someone else over some nonsense and instead of getting into a huge fight and stressing over her "being mad at me" I simply said, "Goodbye."
I'm tired, ya'll.
I've been tired of toxic friendships for a very long time. You're not in a friendship when you don't hear from someone for months at a time but they're always stalking your social media pages, when they don't ask how you're doing, when they manipulate the situation to make it seem like everything is your fault, when they don't show up for you, when they can't have a serious conversation with you other than banter or when you can't talk about things that affect you as a (Black) woman. If they don't talk to you about #BlackLivesMatter or if they get uncomfortable when you say things like #BlackGirlMagic they are not your friends. You are certainly not in a friendship when you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around that friend all the time. When you can't speak your mind or ask a simple question without getting reprimanded or tone policed.
All this I knew. I've known this for years and yet I continued to engage and get tangled up in these half-baked, unsatisfying friendships that ultimately made me unhappy. And left me feeling lonely.
So lately, I've been spending time alone. And I've been having a fine time. Don't get me wrong, it can be lonely sometimes. It would be nice to have someone to take a girls' trip with or get a drink with or simply chat on the phone or on Whatsapp with. But if doing those things means sacrificing even a little bit of my peace of mind - I don't want it.
I've been happier in the past three months than I have been in a very long time. Guess what? You can't get ignored in group chats when you're not engaging with mean girls. You don't have to explain your reasons for still showing love for Black men (and other Black people) despite the fact that you're married to a White man when you're not involved with people who think loving Black people means hating White people. You don't have to explain or apologize for being excited to be in the same room, at the same party, sitting at the same table as another Black person when you're not friends with someone who feels personally threatened or left out when that happens. You don't have to hold back your passion for things like Feminism when you're not friends with insecure men who think being a feminist means you hate men.
It's exhausting being friends with someone who doesn't get you and instead of trying to get you they try to change you.
This is why I've fallen in love with spending time alone. I've started to reconnect with myself and get to know myself. I've started to change and grow in new ways. I've started to regain the things I'd lost over the years. I've started to feel replenished. I'm finally OK with being by myself. I'm finally OK with not being surrounded by other people. I'm finally OK with knowing there are people out there who don't like me.
That's not to say that I'm not open to meeting new people or making new friends. I am. But I'm not actively seeking those connections. I'm also not settling for bullshit friendships anymore.
I'm OK with not having any friends.
Ciao for now,