Sometimes the people who you think should be there for you aren’t. Your mom, your sister, your best friend. The people who ‘should’ take care of your various needs will sometimes fail. They will be busy, or tired, or too consumed with their own lives to entertain yours. It is really easy to get lost in the sadness of that. The loneliness of reaching out to people and those people rejecting you. Often at times when you are already vulnerable which is what had led you to reach out in the first place. What can you do with that?
Nothing. You can’t control other people. You can’t control how they will respond to you or what they would be willing to do for you if asked. What can you do then? Fuck them. Not in a mean way. Just leave them over there to do whatever they are doing. And what are you going to do?
Look around. Look at the people who show up without asking, who offer support without trying, who are willing to do stupid shit for you for no reason—and appreciate them. Don’t get so caught up in what you don’t have that you miss out on what you do. Maybe that girl you work with who shows up to everything you invite her to, and always asks you about your day, would make a really good go-to person if you find your go-to person doesn’t want you to come to them anymore.
Start noticing—who texts you, who calls you, who answers or immediately returns your calls? Who is always saying super-supportive things on your Facebook Wall? It’s okay to have different friends for different things. It’s okay to lean on new people if they offer for you to and for you to see where it goes. Look at who and what are bringing you happiness and satisfaction, then focus on those. Nurture that. It’s not always whom you think it ‘should’ be who shows up when you need it the most. Don’t close the door because you’re waiting for the person who you think ‘should’.
This was highlighted to me once when an acquaintance canceled her birthday outing because ‘nobody’ was coming. “Bitch… I was coming! That’s not good enough for you?” I would have gone out with her and had a great time, but I wasn’t who she wanted to celebrate her birthday with and the disappointment she felt by that inhibited her ability to enjoy her own day. I will not be that girl. If you’re there? Thank you. I love and I appreciate you. If you’re not? I’ll survive—look at all the people who are! They deserve the best from me and I can’t give them that if I’m watching the door waiting for someone who isn’t coming.
It’s not that it doesn’t hurt or that I don’t care about the people who don’t show up. I’m not even bad enough on my worst day to try and pretend that I don’t cry over it. But… I will not allow my sadness to interfere with the heartfelt appreciation I feel when I realize I am abundantly blessed with a life full of people who love me.
by Tia Grace
Read more of Tia’s work on http://yoursassyblackfriend.com/
Thursday 1st of February 2018
I love how you manage to articulate what so many others are also likely thinking. When I was younger, in my 20's and 30's, and most of my friends were single as I was, I found it was easier to get people together for various events, whether a large group or just 1 or 2 people coming over for a tea and to commiserate and offer friendly support. Now that I'm in my 50's, I find it is much harder to get people to commit to get together, as people are always so busy in various stages of their lives. My younger friends have to take their kids to hockey or gymnastics practices, and my older friends are caught up in helping care for their elderly parents, the stage I find myself in. I myself have had to cancel out of many social engagements or outings in the past year and a half due to many Dr's appointments and unexpected trips to the Emergency Dept. While I am the kind of person that prefers face-to-face contact as a first choice, I find myself using Facebook and texting more than ever as a means to keep in touch with those close to me. There are some tried and true friends that are treasures indeed. Those friends, or family, will always pick up the phone and try to meet up if possible, and times spent together are always as if you just saw each other last week. There are other friends though, that never seem to return calls or texts, and are always busy when you extend an invitation to get together. As I age, I find that my time is so precious that I'm losing patience with those people, and it's the tried and true gang that are coming to mean even more to me as time goes on. I hope those in your own circle will realize what a treasure your friendship is and will make more of an effort to remain part of your own tried and true gang ?