Ever wonder why people keep throwing parties and inviting you, even when you RSVP and don’t show up? When you are doing a really good ghosting job but they don’t take the hint? Let me shed some light on their persistence: People are social creatures. We need the warmth of human touch. Intimacy. Compassion. Comfort. Support. Children or no. Double income or single. Employed or unemployed. There’s strength in numbers. There’s wisdom. Hope. An opportunity to laugh and feel joy even in our deepest moments of despair and loss. We gather to heal, to commiserate, to rebuild. Unless you have the courage to catch and release friendships, many won’t naturally realized you moved away from them, if not entirely moved on from the circumstances that connected you. We collect people and keep them handy just in case we ever need them, without admitting to ourselves that they may have served their purpose, already.
Meaningful information exchanges are a necessary evil that is not very well integrated into modern social media driven cultures.
W and I have less than four “out of the blue wanna hang out with” peeps left in our area, if any at all. After 15 years of “collecting” friendships, most of the PR and Latino people we have made deeper/stronger nerd connections have moved outside the immediate region or across the continents in search of greener pastures. My new friends are the bomb but it’s not the same. They already have other circles to maintain, families and obligations that have presendence over our newer bond, and a different set of cultural norms and expectations, based on their heritage. A sense of grief and loss comes with every arrival and departure. There’s no tribe to belong to anymore. No one to be there for you above and beyond the call of duty. Just a long list of contacts or accounts to text, comment on, or ignore.
No more down the road peeps! No more people to come in to our rescue!
With my mother gone, (#F@%k Cancer!), I don’t have the same safety net, drive and motivation anymore. When I wake up there’s only one person that would have my back, and that is me. My husband has his own demons to slay, and as much as I like to brag about being Wonder Woman, most days I just sit and watch TV to run the life clock down. I want to make it safely, very slowly, to death; to the future version of myself that doesn’t feel this much anger, pain, and detachment. As much as I have helped others throughout my journey, and continue to do in my limited state of being, it has been extremely hard to feel I am getting the same treatment from those that surround me. If it isn’t due to lack of time or interest, it’s because of distance. My timing is off and getting new friends to help me through these tough times doesn’t automatically replace the people who are gone, or the need to get attention from certain people. Grief works in mysterious ways.
I’ve had to overhaul my inner circle and it has proven to be arduous and exhausting!
We all post memes about taking care of those who are hurting or need reassurance, of calling those who seem sad or depressed. I’m surprised that socially we don’t report more outreach is taking place; it feels like people are more insular and inward thinking than before. Due diligence seems to be a lost artform, and every time I follow up on a worrisome post, the person asking for help informs me I’m the only one that cared enough to talk to them. WOW! We toot our horns that we have X number of followers and friends but in reality, we are lonely, riddled with depression and anxiety, putting a brave face forward when we shouldn’t have to. Don’t be afraid to reach behind the screen and talk to an actual human in person; or at least Skype or Facetime them. Surprise buddies with out of the blue thoughts or calls. Don’t wait until they are gone to lament. There’s no one better than you to help your friends cope with adversity.
Trust me, in these cases, it is better to be safe than sorry.
#GratefulForTheOnesThatShowUp #ActuallyHelpFriendsInNeed #DontAssumeSomeoneElseGotTheirBack #IntroversionAndFriendshipCanCoexist #MyHusbandIsNotDeannaTroy #JustBecauseWeSmileDoesntMeanWeAreOK