Friends, I thought as I matured though would be easier to hold on to. What I’ve found is the more I become good with me, the more I find my own path to success, the more I move outside the square box and re-draw what I consider to the success of the American Dream, the more my “friendships” fall off. For me it almost always comes down to communication. How one communicates, in a world that is so filled with words that are no more than hot air. Where people are so use to saying what you want to hear rather than what they actually mean. False promises are a daily occurrence and people just use more words to fill up their shortcomings. I only use words to mean what I say and say what I mean. My word is all I have. So I take words seriously. I do not expect my friends to be my biggest supporters. I’m very fortunate to have a family that fills that role. Many won’t have family or friends support them, when they chose endeavors that are not common. Partly because we often take for granted the people that we have as constants in our life, it’s not always hate. So don’t hold back on pursuing dreams because your friends or family can’t see it for you, as they’ll come around eventually. Their support might be more of the verbal and emotional variety. Now let’s get to what inspired this post. I have yet to experience another situation which has left me so disappointed. I don’t keep many friends on purpose. My intimate world is only previewed by a few outside of my immediate family. And everyone who walks in is given a piece of me. I find myself to be highly valuable, so pieces can be rather exclusive.
I’ve previously wrote about this event, as I term it the “lunchervention“. A situation where, now former, friends sat me down to tell me about myself, expecting me to have an absolutely positive response to hearing sheer negativity about myself. No sense to be made. Post the lunch and blog post, I found myself in a situation where people were offended that I was offended. Upset, that I told them I did not like their approach and asking of me things that they couldn’t consider giving to me. How does one demand that you ‘think about what they’re saying’ but entirely refutes anything you have to say? How does this come from a person you perceived to be a friend?
It’s 3 years later and it took me a while to reconcile and move on from the whole affair. It was all very odd as two people and myself, exchanged apologies while one person held on to their angst and fought every word I said with vile. In the end, I blocked her on every social media account I had. The other two, I saw one out at an event and she avoided me, the third on ended up blocking me on Facebook – the millennial way of ending a real life friendship. Those situations that leave your scratching your head, because extra words and false premises are exchanged behind your back. I have no clue and I can’t be concerned with those who care less about me. Post the lunchervention, here’s the email I sent to ‘friends’ explaining how I felt. It’s long, and I have a tendency to repeat myself, because I always fear people won’t understand my words:
Oh where to begin… Let’s start here.
First when Kim* tweeted about the position and I replied with the “I been asked you about that but ok…” I was not expecting a dramatic escapade to ensue. I fully expected when I showed up to this “lunch” with Cary and Tanya, that I would mention it and get a similar reaction to when I mentioned Efua’s response to Tanya a few months ago. She would half appreciate Kim’s vantage point, I would say she is entitled to her opinion and we would all move on with our lives. However what proceeded to ensue has left me harrowingly disappointed and offended.
Let’s be clear here. I am an adult.
Regardless of your opinion on my life, career choices, personality, hair…etc. Therefore I expect to be treated like an adult. That lunch was not treating me like an adult. Catching wind of how people really feel about me while walking down 14th street is not treating me like an adult. I don’t care that you guys had a pow wow about me prior to this lunch intervention. That’s the semantics of our relationship(s) with each other. What I do care about is that you dismissed my ability as an adult to be aware of myself and working towards doing better..to tell me how I need to change, as if your opinion is fact.
I do believe that in the case of Tanya and Cary, this was genuinely done out of love and care. I get that.
But this was a misplaced effort. I don’t need authoritative guidance from anyone that’s not God, Jesus, my Momma and maybe my Father. [redacted…]
Let’s reference some things from this lunch that really bother me. I stated this at the lunch and was curtailed. But I really feel that Tanya and Cary validated two people’s OPINIONS of me who didn’t have the nerve to be straightforward with me. There’s a lot that you don’t know about me, and it was highlighted throughout the lunch as you proceeded to make backhanded statements about things you really don’t know about. For example: Can I say that I have ever been committed to anything for 6 months to a year? What ever happened with my brother? And the kicker…was when Tanya attempted to make an example of my work experience at Black Hair Media. I was far too emotional and off kilter to answer aptly. I found myself explaining things that I don’t owe anyone an explanation for. Like really, why I did have to tell you word for word what my exit conversation with a former boss was? Why do I know so many people and no one wants to help me? Again…I don’t understand how one can make that statement. And I’m honestly hardpressed to find the myriad of other people who all have something negative to say about me and my work ethic.
I honestly believe y’all had that conversation with me because of statements made my Efua and Kim. And maybe a tie in of all y’all other friends & family who didn’t like me when they first met me. I’m also over that statement. I get it and quite frankly do not care. Unless I did something to blatantly offend someone, for those “people” who don’t like me – 9.9 out of 10 times I don’t want to be friends with them anyway. It’s no love lost, their opinions hold no value in my life.
Truth be told, a lot of people aren’t in a place to help. Shit, two out of three people in this situation don’t have anything more then sentiments to offer me. Secondly, I haven’t opened up to a lot of people about this. As with most things I do, I do them on my own. Do any of you have the list of people that I have approached and their responses? Oh… Since I was backed into a corner, I said a lot of things in retrospect that I really don’t mean. I apologized for things that I’m not sorry for, and tried to define myself within the scope of other people’s expectations. I would never do that to any of you. I would never go to Cary and sit her down because all of the negative things Efua and other people have to say about her, as if she needs to alter her life according to her standards. Or let their negativity influence my opinion of her.
When I had an issue with Kim, I sat down with her…matter of fact we were outside of APT. I was not bombastically discussing her while walking down the street with my boyfriend in tow. She told me that she didn’t agree and we moved on with our lives. I accepted her as she is. I understand that Kim is an adult….so I figured I would treat her as such. I enjoy(ed) hanging out with y’all because we generally get together, talk shit, drink and just have a good time. I really only ever talk to Cary on the phone…maybe twice/thrice a month. The bits and pieces I have shared with any of you, were more as a listening board and being open to a different perspective, presented as such. Never would I ever have expected to have any of that thrown back in my face. BTW….there will be NO completing of any “exercise” or begging Kim for chance she doesn’t feel I deserve anyway. I was never mad at Kim in the first place. When she called me, while I didn’t agree with her perspective, I understood where it came from. I thought she would go on accepting me as a wildchild, and I would go on accepting her as extremely pragmatic. Guess I failed to see it was more to it.
There’s a million more things I could say on this. But I’ll stop before this becomes a term paper. I pray that none of you ever fall from grace, and that your trajectory from here is only on the up and up. Because there are so many things and decisions people can question in each of your lives. But you should definitely keep on living as if you owe no one but yourself an explanation. No one owes me a chance. But I am due respect as an adult and individual. I have one thank you amidst this despairing scenario…. Thank you for making me aware of how unnecessarily vulnerable I was making myself in the pursuit of corporate endeavors. I almost lost my self in the voices and opinions of others. I will always and forever live my life following my heart.
P.S. None of y’all read my blog. But in case you haven’t read enough thus far…I blogged a full dissertation on this lunchervention.
Tracy was the first to respond, she offered 17 points to counter everything I said, here’s a few:
8)”validate” and “backhand”???.. Really?? Opinions or truth??.. There isn’t a lot that we do not know about you and the same for us. But have you actually taken a look and the mirror and actually thought about what we said? You show in your monthly affairs. We don’t need to validate anything for things you show us or tell us.
9) You asked for examples and when we gave you examples, you “validated” and changed what “actually” happened. I’m sitting there like “Did she just actually say that when 2 months ago it was a totally different ending?”. Yes it is about being committed. How are you expecting someone to hire you because you did a “certain” aspect of one major job for 2 months and call it “work experience”?…How are expecting to get a job above your “work experience level” when you consistently think you no more than everyone else and haven’t done twice as much as anyone who is presently in that entry level position for more than 5 years?
14). For the third time this has NOTHING to do with how people actually feel about “YOU” on a personal level or how she lives her life….this is specifically talking about work ethics and having and extended work experience profile longer then the obvious.
And ended with this:
—-In the end, we are all adults…I feel that you obviously took our friendly advice and turned it into something totally what it was not meant to be.
You asked us for examples..we gave you them…you choose to explain yourself…this is not what colleen and I took you too lunch for….it wasn’t to throw anything that you have told us as friends back in your face..it was to give you suggestions on your work ethic when it comes to corporate. Yes, I do feel like sometimes you have your head so far up your butt that you believe people “owe” you a hook up just because you “know” them. Yes, I also feel that your head is so far up your butt that you automatically think you belong in an managerial or executive position.
We came to you as friends to pretty much tell you that….YES..sometimes you have to work hard in one setting for years to get to where you need to be…No..someone is not going to hire you because you “know them” or “your cool”….YES..a lot times you have to listen and follow first before you automatically believe you can become a leader. All these things were advice and suggestions. Not to hurt you in any sense..but because you were “offended” by what friends were telling you instead of taking it in…you became “childlike” to me…when you defended yourself..you became “childlike” to me…when you wrote that blog ..you became “childlike” to me…..Jay..no one is not calling you an adult…that’s a title… but when the perspective of others lead to “childlike” behavior then your title changes.
I’m not offended at all by the blog, email, or tweets…I’m more upset then anything..I’m upset that instead of actually analyzing what was said you took it as if we were chastising you and actually took it “personal” instead of “professional”….and that you actually are in denial that most of it is true instead of “just opinions”. I would of been cool with “You know what tiffany and colleen..I might not agree with what your saying and I think your wrong, but I’ll think about it”..You couldn’t even do that..You blatantly too our suggestions for the “you ain’t shit” speech. We came to you as “big sisters”, as your friends..not Mother Hen #1 or Mother Hen #2.
I still hope that you “actually” think about what we talked about..and not assume we are out to get you or control you in anyway..
It didn’t end there. A few more emails were exchanged, she threatened to sue me — yeah, girl. Anything I had to say was lost on someone who already had their mind made up and was trying to make up my mind for me. Cary and Kim both offered apologies and I offered one in return. The last correspondence I had with them was a few weeks later, was a cryptic drunk email from Cary quoting any Anthony Hamilton lyric. Friends. Will not always be there. Some will cross you. But you can’t wallow in it or let it become you. You have to move on and move forward. Build confidence in yourself and understand that when you pursue a new path in life, you are essentially going down the road less traveled and that road is traveled by few. All your friends will not make it down the road. I don’t even promote what I do to my friends. All they know is what they see on Instagram. I do wish I had the better ability to keep close acquaintances and not give so much equity into friendships. But I love hard.
The author Jouelzy
Jouelzy is a #SmartBrownGirl, Author, Vlogger & Writer, addressing lifestyle issues that impact women of color from beauty, culture to technology. With 162k+ subscribers she’s reshaping the image of women of color, who honor their right to revel in their diversity.