Do you want some honesty?
I suppose there was a realization, or better yet, I suppose a time came when I figured to myself, “I wonder if I would hear from certain people if I wasn’t the one to make the phone calls” And then I wondered some more about this. Next, I tested my theory. In some cases, I learned that I was right. In some cases, I learned that I was better off like this. And in other cases, I had to figure out if I was happier this way. I have met different people at different times in my life. Some of these people have remained in my life and some of them are those who I call my loved ones. Some of the people in my life were only temporary and never to be heard from again, which is fine because this is how life is. In some cases, we stay connected. In other cases, we lose touch.
Along the way, I have learned a few undeniable things. I learned there are different kinds of people in this world. There are some people who I will always be forever-connected with. Whether this connection is easily explainable or too cosmic for words, in the end, I know these people will always be in my heart. I have learned there are different categories of friends. I learned there are people who I can go years without speaking to and if or when we speak, the conversation is as amazing as if we just spoke yesterday. There are friends in this world who I understand will go their own way, and yet, I know them the same as they know me. I know in my heart that although we might not speak often, the truth is a piece of me will always be in their corner. And hopefully, a piece of them will always be in mine.
I am fortunate to have a small few friends who I speak with regularly. I am blessed to have people in my life who understand the meaning of reciprocity- that friendships are equally and mutually beneficial. There are times when I am broke and busted. And there are times when I am strong enough to carry the world. The fortunate part is that I have friends that know when my knees are weak, which is fine because they are the ones who help me stand when I don’t feel strong. In return, I am the one that does the same for them. And I love this. I love the sense of family I have, which to me is more than I’ve ever had.
There are people who are not as friendly as they seem. I need these people the same as I need food, water and air to breathe. I understand that not everyone fits this category. Unfortunately, we learn this the hard way. There are the unfortunate opportunists in this world. And take note of this. These are the ones who by their nature have their own shortcomings. They are the social climbers. These are the people who seek advancement over true friendship. I have seen these people. I used to see them often but I decided to make a change and walk away. We were friends a long time ago, and now, it’s funny, but if we saw each other on the street, we’d pass without so much as a friendly “Hello.” We’d just keep walking as if we were complete and total strangers.
In fact, I remember seeing a bunch of businessmen in suits. I didn’t recognize them at first but I knew them once. I knew them the same as they knew me. Or wait no. I was somebody else at the time. They were at a table, viewing the menus like big shots. And me, I didn’t say anything. Why would I? Besides, the person they knew wasn’t me anyway.
I smiled though. I smiled because I used to be worried about things like, “What would happen if I didn’t make it?”
My priorities were much different back then.
Then again, I had no idea what it meant to “Make it.”
Did I make it?
Have I made it?
In fairness, I think that in some regards, the answer remains to be seen. I think in other regards, the answer to the question has changed. My version of self has changed and therefore, my version of success has dramatically changed. But in short, yes. I made it. I am not who I was. I’m who I’m supposed to be. Not a lot of people can say this for themselves. But I can.
I have a friend who went out to California when he was young. He had a dream to make it as a rock star. He told me what he thought the meaning of life used to be. This version was typical for a rock star. He wanted to be in a hot tub with a bunch of naked groupies and sniffing cocaine from their breasts. Safe to say that he had this. Safer to say that he had a lot of this. And where is he now? Well, actually, this man is around and inspiring people on a daily basis. He is no longer his former self. He is a Father and there’s more. One night, he was telling me about his life and his relationship with his daughter. Tears came to his eyes as he said, “I can’t believe how blessed I am.” I recall feeling the same way, just because I know him.
It was an honor to see this. It was an honor to hear him explain about the transformation of his intentions. I know a little bit about the transformation of his life, which is pretty damned incredible. We don’t speak very often. But that’s okay. Besides, we’re not friends. In fact, I’d say we’re more like brothers.
I don’t count the times I call people anymore. I don’t count the times they call me either. However, if there is a feeling in me or if I find myself questioning the value of a relationship, I have learned to address this accordingly and appropriately. I used to think I needed a million friends. I used to want to be cool and popular. Nowadays, I just want my circle to be pure and tight. I want the people I love to be close to me because the truth is, I am like you or anyone else. I have times when I hurt and weep. I have times when I need a friend to laugh with or be immature with or do crazy things with. I need friends to sing or dance with, to howl with, or to go to concerts with and be like we were when we were young, alive, and crazy as ever.
I have found my place in the circle. I learned that I was always here. I was always right where I was supposed to be. I have learned what friendship is. I have learned the difference between wanted and unwanted relationships.
As for those who struggle to understand me, then please allow me to explain. This is nothing more than an out pour of my thoughts for you. This is me, humbly explaining that I am so blessed to have you in my life. I know the world is a busy place. I know that everyone has life going on. I know that the world is in a big rush but please, if anything, I want you to know this: If I love you then I love you. If you’re a friend, then rest assured, you are my friend. And know that it hurts me if something hurts you.
Know that we all are trying to find a way to reach our best potential.
Do you want honesty?
I’m like anyone else in this world. I have hopes and dreams and fears. I have people in my life that I love as dearly as can be. I know that times are tough for us all. And for this, I’m sorry. But before I go, I’d like you to know something which is very important to me. Wherever I go, you go too. This means no matter where you go, I am always going to be with you.
Oh, as for those people who I wondered if they’d call when I stopped calling them? On occasion, I’d see some of them. On occasion, I would match their intensity and smile the same as they would. I’d say hello and exchange mutual things. I’d say things like, Hi. How are you? How’s the family? How’s the job holding up? I’d tell them, You look great. Or maybe I’d ask, Did you lose weight? And then I suppose I’d say something like, “It’s really good to see you.” But only if I meant it . . .
On some occasions, I was asked “How come I never hear from you anymore?” to which, I’d answer, “The phone works both ways.” And it does. I know it does, which is why I stopped calling.
I have no time for one way friendships; nor do they have time for me.
But you? Trust me, no matter where I am in this world or what I’m doing, I’m always going to make time for you. Why else do you think I wake up at 4:00 in the morning?
It’s to come here and see you . . .