friendship

THE FRIENDSHIP BREAKUP

I remember when I first wrote this post, under the same name, when I knew our friendship was over, but before you’d ever said so. I remember writing it, without knowing the full details, accepting a future I knew was inevitable. I bet, K, you assumed that I wrote that piece after what you did—all of it. But I didn’t. I wrote it at Christmas. A Christmas I’m sure you remember well, because you spent it in America. I knew before Christmas. No one else did, and everyone else assumed we were still inseparable, the best of friends. Did you know, K, on my last day, Sophie caught me sobbing? And do you know what she said to me, K? “Don’t worry, Carla. It doesn’t matter what she did to you. You have amazing people like K in your life. You know K would never hurt you like that; you two have always ...

UNFRIENDING SOCIAL MEDIA

A few minutes of scrolling through a blur of babies, parties, weddings, promotions and quotes for the lonely—a routine we fulfill before our eyes shut and as soon as they open. Social media connects you with friends, family, favorite brands, interests and the world at large. Ideal right? However, what happens when social media appears less like a land of opportunity and more of your own monitoring device to see who has trumped you in all milestones of life?  I use social media frequently. Recently, while indulging in my scroll marathons, I started to feel internal pressure. It sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. As a woman in her mid-thirties, I have achieved enough at this point in my life to be more than satisfied with where I am—but that feeling is there, regardless of how often I talk ...

MY MISPLACED APOLOGY

I’ve never guessed my presence as anything considerable or comforting, but it’s always brought about an energy that feels like a safe space. When you came to me with everything you’ve suppressed for so many years, all of the hurt and anger that had been bottled and contained inside that big heart of yours, I welcomed it. I watched as you caught your breath between tears to tell your story, just to take another in to defend your feelings towards it. I noticed that you never lifted your eyes from your knees, like you were ashamed of where you had been and what you had seen, beyond your control. My ears were wide open, and I wish my soul could swallow every syllable that fell from your mouth to remove that weight that made you feel so low. “So here I am.” And the air fell silent. You finished...

COPING WITH THE TRAGIC AND SUDDEN DEATH OF MY CLOSE FRIEND

We associate certain kinds of music, scents, flowers, animals, colors or images with different stages of our life. One song that has an extra personal meaning to me because of a very terrible incident that happened a few years after I graduated from high school. Let me explain the story. The song is a very popular song by the rock group Styx: “Come Sail Away.” The beginning of the song is slow then gradually gets a tempo and a fast beat. The slow part really gets me, especially the verse: I remember high school friends and me With our dreams I start to cry when I hear this verse as well as the beginning of the song with just the music before Dennis DeYoung starts singing. It is a wonderful song, after all it stayed on the charts for a whopping two years and initially sold over ...

LEARNING TO SAY ‘NO’

All my life, I’ve tried to keep my friends close to me all the time by never saying no to them. if they needed me to help them do something mischievous or even illegal, I would giggle when I want to say no, but I would still say yes, no matter how dangerous that deed was. Growing up, you realize that living to please people isn’t worth it because people keep you around when you are beneficial to them. Not only was I submissive when it came to my friends, but my partners too. Anything they wanted to do, I would be down for it even when I really wasn’t. When people are so used to you agreeing to anything they say, you start to find yourself living your life the way that they want you to. Your daily routines sometimes depend on your peers – you want to avail yourself for them so that th...

4 A.M.

It’s four in the morning and I’ve just gotten out of Veronica’s car. Three hours before I had texted her and asked if she wanted to go for a drive. I didn’t know where to and I didn’t care, just as long as I was out of the house. I brought a pack of cigarettes I keep hidden in our junk drawer at home, put on my best friend’s sweatshirt, and said goodbye to my dog in a whisper. Veronica’s car is a mess, but I find that most girls’ are. There are Styrofoam cups left abandoned in the passenger seat, vegan food wrappers everywhere and countless receipts from our local pizza joint. When I open the door, she’s jamming out to a girl band I don’t know the name of, freshly dyed ombré twirling all around her like a curtain. I tell her ‘hi’ and climb in. She drives us to her new house that’s complete...

SEASONS GREETINGS IN FRIENDSHIP

Friendship is important to our lives, in some form or another, because it lets us know we are not alone, we have someone to confide in and we receive advice from these trusted companions. Friendship is defined in many ways, and how you define it is up to you. Family could be considered a friendship as well, since it is a bonding of love and protection that gives us hope, comfort, and shelter. Friendship, family, are both a light in the darkness that life can bring; they help us through the obstacles in our life in honest ways (or should be honest ways). The honest healing words from friends, or family, reminds us there is hope beneath the pain. This reminder may even clear away some of the pain we hold and help us move to a brighter future, or develop a clearer idea for a conclusion of a p...

SORRY ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH

To my friends, Jennifer, Chloe, Megan and Amanda: I’m sorry.   And I know, my sorry isn’t good enough.  Because up until this point, I haven’t really, fully apologized. Sure, I’ve sent some emails or text messages; nothing outright apologetic.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I wasn’t a good friend and at times did unkind and downright mean things. I’m sorry I’ve lost your friendship.  When I was younger, after a particularly heinous crime I committed (and there were so many, I’ve lost count) I’d go to my mother and say, “I’m sorry.”   Her reply was always the same: “Sorry isn’t good enough.”   She never elaborated, she never explained, she never accepted my apologies and in a misguided sense, I think the wisdom she meant to imp...

BRIDESMAID-ING: 8 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

He asked. She said yes. And then? She asked you. Minutes after he was no longer just her boyfriend, you were no longer just her friend. You were someone she’d want up there helping her seal the deal. It’s an honor! It’s also not about you. And sometimes that’s the hardest part. Over the past year I’ve gotten married and stood up in four other weddings. Having done the preparations numerous times, I thought I’d share some tips I’ve learned for bridesmaid-ing well. Brides aren’t the only ones who can earn the “zilla” added to their name. We’ve all gotta do our part not to lose our cool on the big day. Here are eight things that have helped me!    1. Celebrate; don’t control.  We can all agree that weddings are some of the BEST events of the year. And yet, there is a tendency in all of us to ...

(FRI)END-ZONE

I’ve had a burning frustration for years: men who I’ve loved being with in a platonic way, who I’ve gotten really close with, when suddenly, they cut the friendship short leaving me with no explanation whatsoever. This poem is dedicated to all you lovelies—I hope some ladies can relate. is it okay if we play this game of hide and seek smile so meek even though we are both taken by unique hearts?   i can see you are terrified to get too close there’s a cautiousness a force field a cold shield visible to my eyes only sensed by my heart alone   this distance is devastating a secret wound bleeds in me and i know it bleeds in you   we both shine in remarkable ways so why can’t we shine together in those fleeting moments of meeting?   why do i detect a hostility in your body ...

I GUESS WE ARE JUST FRIENDS

I wake up a couple of hours later because I’m cold. I see you across the room, sitting at the computer. You’re dressed already. You see that I’m awake and you smile. “I was about to slip out. You were sleeping so good I didn’t want to wake you. I’m just checking my email right quick.” I can tell right away that your mood has changed. You’re no longer as comfortable with me as you were before. This change makes me feel naked and it has nothing to do with what I’m wearing, or the lack thereof. I get up and begin to get dressed. Even though it’s spring and it’s warm, I put on jeans and a lightweight hoodie. I’m familiar with this new mood and it chills me to the bone. It makes me feel nervous and alone. You’re no lo...

PEOPLE: THEY ARE BLIND

As I reflect on the past decade+ of trials and tribulations, successes and experiences, one very important lesson jumps out at me: It is so important to surround yourself with the right people. People will see you as an external version of themselves. They see what they like about themselves, or what they don’t. They see someone they want to be, or someone they failed to be. Someone they used to know and like, or someone they used to know and didn’t like. Or they see nothing. They see a blank slate that they can impress or mould into someone who sees them a certain way. So that they can feel they are that way. People will treat you according to factors like this, not based on who you are. Unfortunately, these same blind people can shape how you see yourself based on how often you have to t...

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