Not Friendships. Acquaintances.

Friendships. Some people live for their friendships. I know people who have died for their friendships, and lack there of. It is one of the many things in life that gives a person purpose, comfort, motivation, and even inspiration. Personally, (and I’ve learned this at a very young age) I think that friendships now-a-days are a crock of shit. I feel as though that the word “friend” is thrown around way too often, stripping the title from any real meaning. We can thank FB for this. You meet someone at a party, at the airport waiting for your coffee, washing your hands in the restroom, if you connect with someone, the first thing you do that night or the next day is hunt that individual down on FB and you quickly become “friends” with them. Need I mention that this is NOT a friendship. This person you know absolutely nothing about, nor they know anything about you, is not your friend. For me, friendship goes beyond meeting someone and getting along with them. Friendship takes more work and dedication than that. It runs deeper than a single click on a social media site.

Friends aren’t those who you only see when you go out drinking. Those are your drinking buddies. Those coworkers you get along with so well throughout your work day? You know, the ones that make your work shift fly by? Nope. They aren’t your friends either. Not if you only see and speak to them during work hours. Your friends are the ones that will call you throughout the night when you didn’t make it to the bar. They’ll annoyingly bug you and tease you for not showing up, and will make sure that you don’t miss a moment.. Friends are those coworkers that even if you are no longer working alongside of them, they are still reaching out, making your work days at your new job a bit more bearable. Friends are those individuals that when they find themselves in your neck of the woods, will call you to meet up with them even if it’s for just a quick cup of coffee. Your friends make you feel better when you are sick, even if their remedy is just humor. Friends are selfless. All they want for you is happiness and will support you in your en devours, even if it means that they won’t get to see you as often. Friends are those who maybe you haven’t spoken to in a while simply because life just got in the way, but once you do get a hold of one another it is like not a single day passed by since the last time you spoke.

True friendship isn’t easy. Like anything else that is worth anything, it takes time and effort. A friendship is a two way street. Friends will at times deplete each other but will also replenish the well. You may make an incredibly stupid mistake but a true friend will get you through that moment, while seizing the chance to make fun of you for it. There will be moments where your opinions will collide, but even then, not even your own personal ideologies and way of life will come between you and that friend. Within a true friendship you find unconditional acceptance. You’ll find trust and loyalty throughout even the most uncomfortable situation. You never really have to explain yourself because a true friend will understand you with few words spoken. True friendship doesn’t survive on the materialistic. It survives on the intangibilities of life.

Many people believe that they have a million “friends” simply because their FB status “proves” it to be true.  Many of those people find themselves the most alone when facing challenges. They’re the ones who freak out when someone they considered a friend does something distasteful towards them. In an age where everything is so instant, when it comes to friendship or even love, any relationship really that you want to hold dear to your heart, give it time to unfold and prove itself before you go labeling it to be something more than what it truly is. Remind yourself that just because you may think of something one way, it may not be that way for someone else.

Hold yourself in high regard because you deserve better than whoring around your friendship to those who could care less, because if you couldn’t care less to quickly label them a friend, than they will careless about treating you like a mere acquaintance.

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Photo taken by: Natal Galvan, Location: Downtown Fort Myers, FL

Simply Side Notes

In life you meet people, all sorts of people. They either stay in your life or they simply trickle in and then back out again. The amount of people that I can honestly say that have stayed in my life as a permanent fixture are very few. The funny thing? I have met so many people, and I have a list of acquaintances a mile long, but only just recently have I realized that they are merely that… acquaintances. Skimming through my list of FB friends I noticed I hardly talk to any of those listed. I mean seriously if it weren’t for FB we wouldn’t be updated as to what’s been going on in each other’s lives. Would we even remember that each other existed? Probably not. I think about the people I have met just this year alone and where as before I would say “Oh yea.. I know so and so.. They’re my friends! I love them!” now I just wonder, how could I have ever honestly of said that? Just thinking back to the circumstances I have met some of these people under, I don’t know how I could have been so delusional as to actually call these people my friends. Literally since I moved to FL every person I have met since being here, not including co-workers or people that I’ve had to do business with in one form or another, are people that plain and simply just served a purpose and are now nowhere to be found. From girls to guys, I’ve met quite a few, and in all instances we have called each other friends at one point or another. For fun and excitement or for a little advice, or even for a night of mischief.. friends. We were there for each other. Right?

So what happened? Why are they just acquaintances? Well like I said, the relationship was purpose driven and once that purpose is gone, what are you left with? Nothing. The girl friends that I once had, we were partiers. Any given day of the week, if we felt like boozing it up.. BOOM… at the bar we were, racking up beer tabs like nobody’s business. It became so customary that bartenders knew us not only by name but our preference of drink. “Regulars” as you might say. As friends we went out, had our drinks, discussed the petty dramas in our lives, gossiped, oh how we gossiped. Maybe we’d go out dancing here and there, meet a few people, then go home and in a few days repeat the whole thing over again. We had fun, for the most part. We were girls so of course there were little hiccups here and there but nothing to truly sever the relationship.. or so I thought. Amazing how the lack of one being able to go out and drink can really filter out your group of “friends”. Once I got my DUI in December, “friends” started dropping like flies. Hmmmm, Could I even say flies? That’s not much of a saying really. I’ll describe it more as, they were dropping like bombs. Atomic bombs, destroying the entire friendship that was built over the course of a year. There were no more phone calls, not even to see how things were going. No texts to see what I was up to or even to send me a funny updates, jokes, or whatever like we once used to. It IS a two way street and although I surly tried to reach out it was almost like talking to a complete stranger, with nothing to say other than “Hey, how you’ve been?”…”Good. You?”… “Good..” Good. I even went as far as to question the one girl I was closest to (I say closest but I really mean who I had known the longest)  as to what was going on. Instead of being able to talk and reason with me, she blamed ME for “distancing” myself, got angry, and dismissed the entire conversation stating she “has a lot of important things going on in her life and this was the last thing” she needed. Ouch. Ok. Well, I gave up. I always find it quite amusing when people project their anger for the role that they may have played in making a situation more difficult than what it needed to be. I didn’t take it personal. As Vince Vaughn  said in “Couples Retreat” …”I know my truth..”, I know I didn’t distance myself because in moments of crisis and stress I never like to go through it alone. Even though I have found myself doing so many many times before, if I can help it, I like to have people I care around to be a buffer between me and my rough times. I don’t know many who wouldn’t. It made her feel better to blame me? So fine. Peace out trout! Yes, she paid my bail and even though I was super grateful, and expressed to her repeatedly how grateful I was, she still decided to throw that in my face during our last short but very clarifying conversation. Another thing I find amusing as well as distasteful. Never have I ever helped an individual out, be it a family member, friend, or stranger, and then rub it in their noses later. Ever. What would be the purpose? To do so takes away all kindness behind the gesture of helping the person out. I have helped many people throughout my lifetime.. to this day I have not once ever brought it up. So needless to say, once I quickly paid her back, I dropped her like a hot potato.

Cioa! The purpose was obvious. Party Pals. You take the partying away from one of the pals? Bye-bye gal! On to the next group of “friends”.. so here we go. Since a kid I have always had more boy friends than girl friends. I grew up with 5 step brothers. I used to play football with the neighborhood boys. I have always considered myself a “guys” girl for sure. To this day I can count on one hand the amount of lady friends I’m actually close to. Unfortunately none whom live here, meh. Guys? They’re fun, but what I have recently come to discover, and maybe this is a bit naive of me as to not have noticed it before, but guys tend to be friends with ulterior motives. Yes. I know. I told you…I may have been dumb to not notice it before. I just always assumed that I was that cool that a friendship was what they were after once it was clear that there would be nothing more. All the guys that I have met here were true cool kats. I loved them. Some I casually dated, others I wouldn’t have ever even considered, but a friendship for me is everything and I truly believed that these dudes were my friends. Some of them were drinking buddies. Some of them were day trip pals. Others it seemed as though we could just chat on the phone and talk about each others weird and twisted lives, without judgment, just for shits and giggles. Today none of them are around. The purpose is gone. I can’t party like I used to so bye-bye party pal. I officially began seeing someone in January and there went everyone else. Apparently, if the hope of getting their dick wet is gone, then so is the friendship. The sucky part is that I met other people through these guys and now those too I have lost contact with, simply because the thread that held us together no longer exists.

It’s comical because I have since stopped seeing the guy I was dating. We broke up about two weeks ago. Just yesterday I made it official on social media. I’m not one to blast my personal life like that but I wanted to see what would come of it. A social experiment if you will. I wanted to see how many of those lost “homies” of mine would resurface once I made it known that I was “on the market” again…. Well low and behold, out of the blue people started texting me, “Heeeeyyyyyy, how have you beeeeeen??!!! Long time no chaaat…” Go suck your own measly little pecker. I don’t want anything to do with you. It’s one thing, if you acknowledge your shitty disappearing act, maybe even apologize for it, “Hey.. Sorry I haven’t hit you up in a while. I saw you were taken and didn’t want to start trouble….blah blah blah…” Ok. But if you’re going to act like it was nothing, you were just AWOL due to being busy or whatever BS excuse you have…. save it. I want none of it.

I take my friendships seriously. They’re like likable full-time jobs for me. I enjoy being loyal and being there when needed. I truly make sure I dedicate time and energy in the relationship. Friends, these people I keep around and let in to my personal little life, I love, just like I would love a significant other or a family member. It’s a different kind of love, but it IS  love. So whenever I find myself going through a friendship break-up, my heart aches because it’s one less person I have around to share my life with and one more person I add to the list that have failed me. Today I sit here in my room and think how I truly have no one. All my childhood friends are back at home, my family too. I live in this state, physically and mentally, and I live it alone. People I once shared things with, built few memories with, are now gone. All I have is my dog, my books, and my stories. I read and write, while I go through the motions of life here on my own and think, if anything else, if not friends, they’re at least now Side Notes. Little characters that played a role, they served a purpose, and will live on to do so, in the pages of my books. I can thank them for at least that much.