Misconception in Friendships- An Open Love Adornment to My Loves.
What if after almost ten to fifteen years of friendship, you are misunderstood by the one’s you deem closest to you? Every now and then we often take measures to “refresh” ourselves whether it be spiritually or at work- but what about refreshing your most intimate relationships with your friends? Relationships are fluid and ever changing entities in your life. While I have yet to experience intimate, reciprocated, romantic love- I have, for many years, experienced familial love from my closest friends. The love that I have received and felt from my brothers and sisters throughout my late-teens to present-day has been the saving grace of my entire being.
I have always prided myself on not giving a pure fuck about what people think of me. Yet, while I have this sentiment, I care deeply about what the closest people to me think and feel. It is definitely true that we all have misconceptions about ourselves from those who are not within our inner circle. A misconception is a view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding- BUT, what about how your inner circle perceives you? Does it matter to you how you are portrayed to your friends? And if so, have you ever done a "quarterly check -in " to make sure certain friendships haven't gotten stale and passed their expiration date?
Recently, a guy friend of mine let me know that years ago while in undergrad, he perceived me as a gossip girl. Although he has stated as we’ve matured well into our early thirties that he does NOT think of me in that manner anymore, it still stung. In my eyes, I was being “open” with my friend- to him I was being a chatty patty who ran her mouth about nonsense. This conversation prompted me to ask my tribe what were their thoughts about me and our relationship. Good, bad, ugly or indifferent- I want the real deal thoughts of how they viewed Prissy (a nickname I am called by friends). The following quotes are direct and unedited as they were sent to me.
A particular mixture of my tribe were questioned: “What is it that they think I need to work on?” and “Do I need to conduct some serious self-awareness on how I treat them?” Some responses shocked me while others have greatly humbled me. Below I will include a few responses and I shall notate them with only their initials to protect their identities.
My first college roommate- turned enemy- turned FAMILY. She has taught me how to forgive and to cherish people for the good and not the bad:
“Well, my twenty-something year old self was on some bullshit when I ended our friendship. But my 33 year old self thinks that you are truly fucking amazing (and I'm not just gassing you up!). There is no one on this Earth like you. You're extremely fun, funny, and charismatic but you're also real as fuck. You are unapologetically and authentically YOU no matter what space you're in or who's in your presence. Lots of people don't have the courage to do that. All of these traits is why anyone would be blessed to call you a friend, especially a CLOSE friend. "
The older brother I wanted growing up, yet didn’t meet until college. This guy has taught me that I MATTER. The one that I can always depend on when I need someone to keep me grounded. Gives me the brotherly love I need at ALL times- no matter what and is ALWAYS an ear for me to vent to:
"I think you're dope. Just be sure to guard yourself against the idea that something's inherently wrong with you or that your life will consist of the failures and unhappiness of other women. You're intentional and that's a quality I admired. Especially how you've used that to create options for yourself".
The sister who went Greek, yet we are still as thick as thieves. Her care-free lifestyle laced with her own courage has taught me to not take life to seriously and to LOVE myself at all times. She keeps me grounded and constantly lets me know I am worthy of love:
"First, you are a very strong Black woman who was raised right. You are loyal and you love hard. You aren't afraid to say how you feel. You work hard and you had made great strides in your career. I'm thankful to have you as a friend and I truly mean that. I never have to question your intentions. Love you.
The baby bestie who I fell in love with immediately working in retail part time after undergrad. She is someone I never knew I needed and is and will always be a part of my life. She is my family and I am grateful for her being in my life. She has witnessed my trials and tribulations and not once has she ever judged me:
“Girl where do I even start with how great of a friend you have been to me. Although we met by a twist of fate because we both starting work at Soma Intimates together. I think that fate has definitely become one of my most lucky ones. You are a true friend to the very end and you have been there for me. I love you like a big sister and your mentorship has given me a great purpose in my own life and I just want you to know as your little sister because I just believe I'm part of your family as much as you are mine. I love you so much and I am so proud of the woman you are and the woman you are growing into. Thank you for all the great advice and I hope I continue to make you proud."
Every so often it is a must that you dig deep and reflect on your actions and your words. Always make sure to reconnect and reflect with your peeps. Get their feedback- LISTEN and take it in. This is an ode to my dearest tribe. You all are the ones who root for me, laugh with me-yet also get me together when I am dead ass wrong in ANY situation. You show me love on a deeper level than I have ever felt and I am truly grateful for you. You are my sisters and brothers, and for that I am forever grateful.