Golden Girls: Friendship
🎶 Thank you for being a friennnnddd! Travel down the road and back again. Your heart is true. You're a pal and a confidanttttt!!! (Da-da-dadada) 🎶
Oh heyyyy friend heyyyy! Welcome to the second entry of my blog. I'm sure you were singing along because everyone loves the Golden Girls. But since you're here let's talk.
I had a conversation with a person that I love dearly recently and it got me to thinking. That little fickle word that we have known since kindergarten has become super normalized, hasn't it?!! I swear we use the word "Friend" so freely now that it's gotten to the point where we've replaced the person's actual name with it. Don't act like you don't do it because I know you do. I'm also guilty. In 2021, I learned quite a few things about myself. I learned who I am as a mother, who I am as a sibling, and who I'm NOT as a friend. One of the greatest lessons that I've learned is that I've been misusing the word "friend" to 10th power. Let me explain.
Full transparency: I haven't been a good friend to any of the people that I hold close to my heart. I know that you're wondering where this is coming from and why I would say such a thing but please unfurl your brow. Lol! So let me say this: If you feel that I've been a great friend to you it's probably because I've reached the level of expectation of what friendship is to you. Your expectations can vary from something as minute as me checking on u every now and then to something as extreme as speaking to you on the phone every single day. There are tons of things that I could list that are characteristics of a good friend. Here's my definition of a friend: A friend is someone whom you hold so dear that your life would be different if they didnt exist. A friend makes the world we live in a better and happier place. With that being said, hear me when I say that I am RAISING my expectations of what I believe a friend should be. And honestly, in raising the bar of what I believe friendship should be, a lot of "friends" are going to end up being pushed into an "associate" category...an "acquaintance" category...and/or a "we good" category. And you want to know why?!? Because God is leveling me up, therefore my friendships are also being leveled up.
I have an anointing on me, I have favor over my life, some things have been prophesied to me that is 100% confirmation that some major changes in my life has to be made. And it starts with the people in my life. So here let me break it down like this... I need more than just an inbox from so called friends when you see that I've posted a tragedy in my life. Truth be told, most of the time you're just being nosey. How do I know you're being nosey? I know because I'll hear from you today and won't hear from you again until something else happens. I digress.
The type of friend that I want is the same type of friend that I want to be. I want to be a friend that loves unconditionally, shares unselfishly, and listens attentively. I want to be a friend that is intentional in the way that the lyrics of the Golden Girls theme song was written. You know the lyrics that you sang with me a few minutes ago. But this particular lyric stands out to me the most: 🎶Thank you for being a friend...Travel down the road and back again.🎶 See, I don't take these lyrics literally. In my mind, traveling means more than just taking a road trip to Miami, a cruise to the Caribbean, or a flight to Japan. Traveling in my mind refers to all the ups and downs we go thru together, the times where we babysit each others kids, the times we go to church, when we pour into each other and fill each other back up, when we cry together, the times when one of us has to stand when the other one can't, the times when I tell the waitress to put it on one check, the times when we look back over our lives and reminisce on how far we've come, and all the times we've continually supported each other. That....is traveling down the road and back again because in those times when it feels like the world was caving in we would have proven to each other the next part of the very same lyric. Sing with me...🎶 Your heart is true! You're a pal and a confidant!🎶 I want a friend with a true and genuine heart.
I'd like to send a shout out to a group of 6 friends that I've known for a very long time. Coco, Flu, Trese, Santana, Quonda, and Fonda have done something that is almost unheard of. They've remained constant for 20+ years. They are literally the epitome of the phrase that Drake coined: No New Friends. I asked each of them to share the secret of sustaining such a long friendship because I know that they've "traveled" down the road. They been thru it all and to sum it up they all said that communication, authenticity, support, accountability, and respect are the things that have kept them together this long. These girls have grown to be women with their own individual lives but they are still ten toes down in 20+ years of friendship. Congratulations, ladies. You're inspirational.
So here's my challenge. I challenge you to normalize asking your friends, "How are you??" I'm also challenging myself to do the same. Let's normalize asking the question and then patiently waiting for a real response and please don't ask the question as a seque to another conversation. Let's also normalize truly gaining the knowledge of who our friends truly are, understanding their expectations of you as a friend, and then applying that knowledge to help you reach those individual expectations. I know that every friendship is different and that we don't all require the same things but we should do our best to be the friend that we would want.
With all that being said, be mindful that we should not have a circle of friends (thanks Drea). Well...I don't want just a circle of friends. In the next chapter of my life, I only want corners. I want people that are truly beneficial to my life mentally and spiritually. I want people that I can go to no matter what. Friends that know how to pray and will pray. I want true intercessors. I'm no longer in my 20s. I need more than a glass of wine and to laugh til my stomach hurts. I need substance and depth. You should require the same. We're too old for empty meaningless relationships/friendships. We have to stop freely referring to people as friends when they are really just great associates, wonderful acquaintances, and merely just regular-degular people.
Our friends should be special. They should be intentionally placed apart from all the other people that we know. Friends serve a specific purpose in our lives and we shouldn't question their place.
Everyone that you work with is not your friend, that is your co-worker. Everyone that you attend/attended achool with is not your friend, that is/was your classmate. It takes more than having 5 things in common with a person in order to call them friend. Let me change that.. in my mind it does. And just because you speak to a person everyday and tell them all of your business doesn't make them your friend either...especially that friend that's always listening to your business and never telling you theirs.
So if you have friends that are meeting your expectations take the time to let them know how beneficial they are to your life. If you find that your friend isn't meeting your expectations and you want him/her to remain in your life this would be the time to have the tough conversation. I just had this very same conversation so I know what I'm talking about. Trust me! It's necessary.
So here's my final challenge. I challenge you to take an inventory of your friends but take a look at yourself first. I found out what kind of friend I am and I was not satisfied. So guess what I'm doing...changing it. You should do the same if necessary. It's time to level up‼️🔥
Thanks for reading.